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How to Minimise Engineering Time for Industrial Automation Systems

How to Minimise Engineering Time for Industrial Automation Systems

From manufacturing to building management, industrial automation systems are truly indispensable in today’s increasingly digital world. And giving each system its intelligence is a PLC or programmable logic controller. To meet the evolving market needs, a whole new generation of PLC have emerged in recent years, combining great flexibility with amazing performance and reliability.

Discover how two companies in the region overcome their business challenges using the latest PLCs – switchgear provider Gathergates managed to attain costs savings, while system integrator Hyro-Trent became more competitive by minimizing its engineering and troubleshooting time.


Headquartered in Singapore, Gathergates is a global switchgear and electrical solution provider with offices and/or manufacturing facilities in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and India. Its client base presently spans across the residential, commercial and industrial markets from Europe, Indo-China and the Asian regions.

With more projects having truncated timelines, reducing the engineering time to develop building controls has become one of Gathergates’ biggest business challenges. The group recently encountered an issue, where the failure of a cold room impacts its customer’s entire plant and facility management system.

PLCs like the Omron CP1L supports enhanced connectivity for the popular Modbus, making its near effortless for Gathergates to integrate these controllers. This, together with the intuitive and user-friendly control software and simplified system set up contributed substantially to engineering time savings.

Omron CP1L (in black) in action, orchestrating a building control’s intelligence

As for the cold room problem, this was mitigated thanks to stringent quality control, backed by a team of professional engineers with the right expertise and experience. These factors collectively improve system reliability and minimise downtime.

Leveraging on Omron PLCs, Gathergates has successfully reduced engineering time, which also led to overall cost savings. Onsite troubleshooting time was also reduced, through the standardisation of Omron solutions that streamlined system design and operational workflow.

More crucially, the simplicity and ease-of-use proposition of these Omron Solutions have bolstered Gathergates’ market competitiveness, giving it the engineering competency to win more projects.


Hydro-Trent is a Malaysia-based system integrator specializing in design, supply, installation, testing, commissioning, and maintenance of instrumentation and control systems. Among its commissioned projects are major municipal waterworks throughout Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Its main challenge was to enhance automation and control for water and sewerage treatment to stay ahead of the soaring demand in these countries. This calls for a wider selection of PLCs with greater functionalities and ease-of-use, which can meet the diverse requirements of its regional customers.

Omron engineer and the customer working side-by-side as a team

Omron CS-series PLCs not only let Hydro-Trent create highly reliable systems easily, they also come with new maintenance functions that facilitate onsite operation and hardware replacement— helping the company immensely in terms of programming, testing, and on-time commissioning of each project.

For Hydro-Trent’s customers, all these benefits translate to reduced operational costs and increased productivity. This is on top of the strong commitment from Omron engineers, which kept the system performing smoothly.

By taking advantage of Omron PLCs, Hydro-Trent has become more competitive than ever, reducing its original engineering and troubleshooting time by 25% and 15%, respectively. This is despite the added complexity of developing a highly specialized and mission-critical system for water treatment application.

Omron innovation at its best

The Omron CP1L, for instance, is a high-performance programmable controller. Featuring embedded Ethernet, it is network-ready and ideal for smart factories. Meanwhile, the CS series is a fully integrated solution, capable of supporting advanced sequence and process control. Click here for more details or contact us here

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