Autotronix, a midsize EPC company based in Durban, with offices in Vereeniging, celebrates its 20-year anniversary this year. Launched by project engineers Collin Chetty and Haroon Bassa, Autotronix from the outset has aimed to become a leading project engineering business. This goal has been achieved, with the company recognised countrywide as a trusted advisor to clients, and a provider of electrical control system design, hardware, software, and installation for various control projects at manufacturing plants and water distribution centres.
Autotronix’s technical turnkey projects expertise provides control systems integration services for design/build, upgrade/retrofit and asset/energy management projects including: project management, electrical engineering, hardware design, hardware procurement, software development, installation, calibration, start-up testing, verification, documentation, training and warranty support.
Autotronix is a SABS-certified company and a recognised partner to many automation technology companies, which currently holds Rockwell System Integrator, Schneider System Integrator, Mitsubishi Systems Integrator, Adroit System Integrator and Wonderware Systems Integrator status. In addition, it has received both electrical and mechanical CIDB grading.
“We can consult on specific aspects of control systems, or we can provide complete turnkey solutions supported with our design, procurement, fabrication, installation and commissioning experience,” says Chetty.
Services include evaluation of existing control systems and vendor bids for PLC solutions. The company provides an all-round PLC service that includes hardware procurement, performance recommendations, detailed designs for PLC system additions, migration plans for PLC system obsolescence, design of PLC industrial communication networks as well as full integration from primary PLC devices at the plant floor to information at management levels.
The company was called in by Harris Freeman & Co in the USA to upgrade all its IMA C51 tea bag packaging machines. The original electrical interface, push-button and timers were replaced with a PLC and HMI. The factory manager, Mr Kevin, stated that this upgrade by Autotronix has improved the run time and maintenance of his machines.
Other services offered are providing client representation at factory acceptance testing and final site acceptance testing, drafting and CAD services, and electrical and instrumentation design services.
In addition, Autotronix specialises in world-class control panel fabrication. The company’s expertise in control wiring and testing helps to ensure faster commissioning with a focus on quality and detail at every step. “Assembly is conducted in our fabrication shop, allowing us complete control of the panel construction process from building through to testing,” explains Chetty.
Control system upgrades vs. total system replacement
“Control system technology has advanced substantially in the last few years,” he adds. “With the current economic climate, one example of how Autotronix has adapted to clients’ financial constraints is by offering controls upgrades instead of total system replacement. This allows facilities to maintain the best parts of their current system while gaining the benefits of more modern technology. It creates a best-of-both-worlds scenario by allowing older equipment to run like the newer models, increasing productivity and extending the life of current equipment.”
Autotronix has performed engineering and system integration work on a diverse range of automation, electrical, instrumentation and industrial software projects. Its clients span multiple industries including manufacturing, utilities, petrochemical refining, food and beverage and water treatment.
Bassa is enthusiastic about the company’s 20th year in business, commenting that the team believes that its ability to remain successful throughout the ongoing evolution in the automation industry, along with major economic irregularity, is a direct result of its most valuable assets: talented employees, business partners and clients who drive and inspire its accomplishments.
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