The biggest technological advancement in the 1980s was the introduction of inverter power sources. An inverter uses IGBTs (see 1982 Inventions) and microcontrollers to create, control and update the welding output thousands of times per second. Inverter technology enables welding machines to:
- Be smaller, lighter and more portable.
- Improve productivity and weld quality through advanced arc controls.
- Offer greater primary power flexibility.
- Improve energy efficiency.
- Pulse at frequencies other than multiples of the primary AC power (e.g., 60 or 120 Hz).
The first Miller inverter came on the market in 1988 and represented more than 10 years of research and development
In 1982, Miller started the Employee Involvement Program (MEIP). MEIP gives employees a chance to directly affect assembly operations, work and material flow patterns, work environment or almost anything else they feel would benefit the company, employees or customers. Employee involvement continues to evolve and grow, and the new, more comprehensive program involves every employee.
1981: The first IBM-PC and its software (MS-DOS) are invented.
1982: Children of the ‘80s enjoyed the Commodore 64 (a PC and gaming system) and the Atari 2600 video game counsel with its famous joysticks.
1982: Hans Becke and Carl Wheatley of RCA invented the insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), a power semiconductor device noted for high efficiency and fast switching.
1982: Coleco began mass-producing Cabbage Patch Kids®.
1984: Apple released its first Macintosh computer. Its 128K of memory quickly proved insufficient. Nike’s release of Air Jordans was highly successful.
1985: Microsoft released Windows 1.0, which enabled users to move a mouse to point and click their way through tasks, eliminating the need to type in commands.
1987: Disposable soft contact lenses become available for commercial distribution.