System Integration & Control Systems Design

Hybrid Automation - hands-on involvement sets the team apart

November 2010 System Integration & Control Systems Design

Engineering solutions company Hybrid Automation was started by owner Sachin Singh in October 2005 in response to the need he identified for a Siemens system integration service provider. Based in River Horse Industrial Complex near Durban, the company specialises in creating customised automated solutions for the South African manufacturing industry. Hybrid Automation is an Approved Siemens Technology Partner, enabling it to back up all Siemens automation and drives equipment in an efficient and professional manner. Singh is a hands-on manager who is regularly found working alongside the technicians, designing the solutions to demanding customer needs. This attitude is part of the company credo with the nine staff members continually going the extra mile to assist customers.

The company’s business processes are based on turnkey operations that provide customers with a one stop shop, while at the same time equipping Hybrid Automation with a broad-based scale of operation. “Hybrid Automation supplies and supports any Siemens industry automation and process instrumentation products, such as PLCs, motors, drives, switchgear and field equipment. However, the development of software for scada systems and PLCs is without a doubt our area of speciality,” says Nimelen Pillay, the company’s business development manager.

Highly qualified in their respective fields the long serving staff are well positioned to support the customer packages on offer, such as project support and 24-hour breakdown and maintenance services. Project skills include expertise in packaging, process and information handling and process automation as pertinent to the manufacturing industry.

The business services a high profile client base with its portfolio comprised mainly of blue-chip companies. “We believe in partnering with our customers to create a unity which facilitates a convergence of vision that brings out the optimal solution for the client,” says Pillay.

Hybrid Automation is a Level 3 contributor with a 100% BEE ownership. “Due to the skills base in our staff we are able to lower the cost of production, thus increasing the company’s pricing power and value-add to our clients,” explains Pillay. The productivity advantage also spills over into reduced production time and products that align with the vision of the client. “We draw no distinction between the cultural and technology barriers found within the automation industry. We simply deploy the best technology for the application. Our Hybrid mentality results in creative and flexible designs, tailored exactly to project and budget requirements,” says Singh.

The Hybrid Automation team
The Hybrid Automation team

The services on offer include:


* Supply and support Siemens automation and drives equipment.

* Siemens S7 training.

* Control panel building and commissioning.

* Automation design consultation.

* Machine upgrades to latest automation technologies.

* Industrial communications design and commissioning.

* Integration of shop floor to MES for production control and monitoring.

* Automated scada reporting from WinCC to MS Excel.


* Consulting and design.

* Sales and services.

* Plant modifications and instrumentation integration.

* Breakdowns and commissioning.

In addition to upgrade projects for Tiger Foods, Unilever and various other customers, Hybrid Automation was recently involved in the automation of:

* The vegetable fat reticulation plant at Imana Foods.

* The desiccant transport starch drying system for Unilever.

* Further upgrades at Unilever’s Benhill cube former and wrapper plant.

“One of the highlights for us this year is the current upgrade of all field equipment at a smelter just outside of Durban, where the Siemens LR260 has proved its mettle,” sums up Pillay.

Singh concludes that the key is diversified and highly skilled engineers with years of training and field experience in industry. Managing this diverse base of talent through a culture of mutual respect, results in successful product development, implementation, and integration.

For more information contact Hybrid Automation, +27 (0)31 573 2795,,


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