Pioneers in Concrete Automation

The 60 year Legacy of Jonel Engineering



In the 1950s, When the Eisenhower administration started the ambitious project of building highways across America, John Lawson - the founder of Jonel Engineering - was recruited by Hardy Scales, an automation company, to design and build concrete automation systems that would be used for Turnpike Highway jobs across the east and mid-west. This marked the beginning of a long journey for John and his family, who faced multiple challenges, but eventually succeeded in creating a legacy that has lasted for generations.

A view of the curves on the Pennsylvania Turnpike east of Fort Littleton.

From its humble beginnings John Lawson spent eleven years with Hardy Scales, where he learned the ins and outs of concrete automation. He was instrumental in developing many of the systems that were used for the Turnpike Highway jobs, and soon became recognized as a skilled engineer in the field. However, John had a vision of starting his own business, and in 1963, he and his wife Betty founded Jonel Engineering. Jonel Engineering eventually gained momentum with major projects showcasing their knowledge such as the California Aqueduct, which marked a landmark in water transport from Northern to Southern California.

Craig, John's son, joined the company in 1968 and quickly realized that the use of new technology would open new possibilities for the company. He saw that the transition from electro-mechanical systems to transistor/micro-processor logic design would enable Jonel Engineering to offer more reliable and efficient automation solutions.

With the integration of reliable software solutions, Jonel Engineering continued to evolve and lead the industry. Craig's son, Michael Lawson, joined the company in 1992 and further broadened Jonel’s product footprint by building Jonel’s first dispatch and back office solution Access Unlimited , which has become a centerpiece of Jonel Engineering's offering. These fully integrated products showcased the multi-generational strengths of the company ushering in innvovative technology starting back to the early stages of the transistor, to the first computerized batch computer, from client-server, to the Cloud.

Today, Jonel Engineering continues to be a pioneer in the concrete automation industry coupled with simple, adaptable dispatch products, with a focus on innovative software solutions and planning for artificial intelligence. The company's mission is to provide state-of-the-art automation systems that help concrete plant managers increase productivity and quality while minimizing risk and waste. The Jonel team is committed to providing exceptional customer service and support, and has built a reputation for quality, reliability, and innovation in their field.

The story of Jonel Engineering is a testament to the power of innovation, perseverance, and family values. Even over the years when faced with challenges, Jonel has always stayed true to its roots and mission. From building concrete automation systems for the Turnpike Highway jobs to leading the concrete industry with state-of-the-art software solutions, Jonel Engineering has come a long way. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Lawson family, the company has created a legacy that will last for generations to come.