Don founded Machinery
Electrification (subsequently MEKontrol, Inc.) in 1948
in the basement of his home and actively participated in
its growth until his death in 1980. ME initially
specialized in designing control systems for machine
tools. Over the years, he expanded the offerings to
electrical control equipment for all types of industrial
machinery and processes including identification
subsystems that used photoelectrics and unique
identification devices to track and control product flow
through manufacturing operations and warehouses.
Don attended the University of Michigan, working in the
automotive industry in quality control, production
planning, plant layout and related areas throughout his
university years. Upon graduation, he joined the test
and sales programs at General Electric where he designed
custom machine tool control equipment. He moved from GE
to become the chief electrical engineer for the Machine
Tool Division of the Norton Company in Worcester, MA
before leaving to launch Machinery Electrification a
couple of years later.
Don was the recipient of many industry awards, including
several patents and the Society for Advancement of
Management’s prestigious “Progress of New England”
honor. He was a member and officer of a number of
professional and civic organizations, served on the
Board of Trustees of Central New England College and
distinguished himself as an avid, nationally ranked
tennis player and devoted family man.
In 1971, Don co-founded the Automatic Identification
Manufacturers’ (AIM) Product Section of the Material
Handling Institute (MHI). He became the first chairman
of the group in 1972, serving in that role and as a
member of MHI’s Board of Directors through 1973. Don’s
leadership and vision laid the foundation for AIM’s
growth and, with it, the growth of the entire industry.
Indeed, the annual Percival Award that is given to an
individual or organization from the user community to
recognize outstanding AIDC (Automatic Identification &
Data Capture) contributions was established by the
industry in his honor in 1982.