PLC based

The PLC is the workhorse of industrial control systems and automation equipment. Modern PLCs are robust and reliable, offering the perfect solution for sequential control of automated systems. We have fitted thousands of PLCs to systems ranging from micro controllers used to replace the traditional relay logic circuits, through to distributed systems within process plants.


Micro PLCs

Even for the most limited sequential operation, we have found it is cost effective to fit a micro PLC rather than use a hard-wired logic. Through software, the PLC provides the opportunity to adjust or alter a sequence. We have developed processes to rapidly specify, design, build and bench-test PLC systems so that a solution can be provided quickly and competitively, particularly if using our preferred range of component parts.

Centralised or distributed intelligence

For larger PLC based systems, a control system can be configured in two styles. A centralised master PLC can be used, communicating with each element of the machine or process, or we can use a distributed intelligence configuration where multiple PLCs are fitted to various elements of the equipment. They each then report back to the one PLC deemed to be the master. The distributed intelligence type tends to have a slightly higher cost but is more convenient and flexible.

Distributed IO systems

The distributed IO system is generally used when equipment is spread over greater distances. Running cabling between each element and the PLC panel can be can be costly, difficult or untidy. A distributed system enables IO modules to be positioned at each machine element communicating back to the master PLC on a network system (EtherCAT, PROFIBUS-DP, DeviceNet, CompoNet etc).


HMIs and SCADA systems are the all-important interface between the automated equipment and the machine operator. They enable the process to be monitored, critical parameters adjusted, performance data to be displayed, the feedback of alarms and finally the presentation of the data in simple text and diagrams.


HMIs (Human Machine Interface) have developed significantly in recent years. Sophisticated colour touch screen systems can be provided in a range of screen sizes, typically from 5 to 12 inches, at relatively low cost.


SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) is an industrial automation control system. It allows organisations to monitor and control machines or devices and also regional operating systems from a central location. There are numerous standalone SCADA packages (Intellution, Wonderware etc). We have also developed a lower cost solution using Omron PLCs and an industrial PC with Beijer graphics software.

Motions and drives

From a humble soft-start or AC inverter to a sophisticated multi-axis interpolating system, we have the skills in-house and a broad range of application experience.

Servo systems

The motion controller can be PLC base for a machine or process that requires other sequential operations or it can be a standalone unit capable of up to 256 axes. We have experience in a broad range of functions including interpolation, master–slave, e-cam and multi axis synchronisation. Our skills enable us to look at the full solution from the start of the process and the selection and sizing of the drives and controller, to the commissioning and hand over to production. Frequency inverters are used primarily to provide speed control for electric motors but, there are additional benefits provided in the form of energy savings and the reduction of the mechanical demand on the equipment (shock, torque limiting). The more sophisticated inverters can also be used to provide sequential control (Digital IO), network functions and embedded safety functions.

Soft start units

We can assist with the selection of a suitable soft start unit to suit your application and the supply, integration and commissioning of the device. Frequently a soft start unit is chosen to replace a simple starter unit. The most obvious benefit is the start-up and stop cycle can be controlled which will reduce the mechanical impact, or shock, on the equipment. The controller will also act to limit the in-rush current and provide energy savings.

OEE data collection

From a humble soft-start or AC inverter to a sophisticated multi-axis interpolating system, we have the skills in-house and a broad range of application experience.

How OEE is calculated

OEE % = Availability x Performance Rate x Quality rate

Availability = Operating Time / Planned Production Time

Performance Rate = Pieces produced/Ideal Rate x Operating Time

Quality Rate = Good Pieces / Pieces Produced

Data collection

For new machinery or equipment, it is relatively easy at the point of purchase to request that OEE data is made available from the machine control system. This data can then be extracted and delivered to a database where OEE can be calculated. However, for older equipment it can be more difficult. We have developed a number of solutions ranging from interface devices that communicate from data memories within the machine PLC, to a simple modification of the existing PLC software to operate digital outputs. Once the data has been extracted from the machine controllers it is then exported to a database where the values can be manipulated and the OEE rate calculated.

Vision inspection

Automatic inspection of products as they are being produced provides process confidence and reduces the potential for volume failed parts. We often integrate vision systems onto existing machinery or process lines and provide a further automation system to take action, should a failed part be detected. As an authorised Omron Integrator and Premier Distribution Partner, we are particularly familiar with the Omron range of vision systems but we also have experience using Cognex and Keyence units.

Easy vision

The Omron Easy Vision range of equipment can be regarded as an intelligent sensor with immense functionality. It is quick to set up and starts at less than £1,000. These units are ideal for component part presence checking, colour inspection, simple checking and measurements etc.

Vision inspection systems

The Omron Xpectia range is suitable for a more demanding application where sophisticated functions are required; high resolution, real colour sensing and 3D functionality.

Code reading

Auto barcode or 2D code reading is easily achieved where you need to confirm that a product has reached a particular point in a process or to capture test data against a specific product.