Rockwell has a long history of technology innovation in a number of areas, including microprocessors, factory automation controls and motors, radios, advanced aircraft and space vehicles, and advanced communications systems and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
Started in 1919 as a auto parts factory in Wisconsin, Rockwell evolved in one of the largest manufacturers of defense and aerospace products. Rockwell has been a long-time supplier of radar and advanced communications to the U.S. government. Its research into aerospace technology won key government contracts to develop advanced aircraft and space vehicles, including the Apollo lunar craft. However, Rockwell recently left the aerospace industry to place emphasis on its communications efforts.
MERGERS AND ACQUISTIONS
Rockwell and aerospace giant North American Aviation merged in 1967 to form Rockwell North American. In 1973, Rockwell North American acquired Collins Radio, a leading producer of aircraft avionics, commercial telecommunications, and communications systems; the company changed its name to Rockwell International. Rockwell increased its electronics expansion with the purchase of Milwaukee-based Allen-Bradley in 1985. Just a decade later, Rockwell acquired Reliance Electric, an industrial motor, drive, and transmissions company. Rockwell left the Aerospace industry on December 6, 1997, when the company announced that it was selling its Aerospace and Defense divisions to Boeing. On March 17, 1997, Rockwell announced that it would spin off its automotive components business by September 1997 and will emerge as a 100% electronics company serving world markets through its three leadership businesses -- Automation, Semiconductor Systems and Avionics & Communications.
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