Excellence in Automation

Written by Mark Golombek

Unitronics works with the automation control industry. It began in Tel Aviv, Israel about thirty years ago and currently boasts two hundred employees. Growth is steady and it sees no signs of slowing down. We found out more about the company and its future.
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. This idea, better than any other, sums up the success of Unitronics in the world of industrial automation.

The company has a global product distribution network of over 160 distributors worldwide for its two divisions. Unitronics’ product division makes programmable logic controllers (PLC) and human machine interface (HMI) products. Its automated solutions serve distribution centers of well-known companies such as Intel and Coca-Cola, and also target the new, ‘green’ sector of automated robotic parking technology. It all began in 1989 as a small start-up in Tel Aviv.

Initially, Unitronics designed and implemented turnkey automation projects. However, the control solutions available at the time were found to be lacking and outdated, so the company began developing control products to better address project requirements.

Twenty years ago, Unitronics came up with a specialty product: an all-in-one PLC and HMI controller. These controllers target a broad range of market sectors from water technologies and pumps to oil and gas, power and energy, packaging solutions, food and beverage. Anywhere automated control is needed, you can find the most established solution available in the market today.

This revolutionary process still impresses to this day. The all-in-one PLC and HMI controller makes it easy for manufacturers and systems integrators to save time, space and money on projects.

Unitronics identified the crucial importance of the operator interface to control solutions. This led the company to develop its operator panel and programmable logic controller (OPLC). These PLC and HMI compact controllers enable an integrated device to be installed for both operating panel and PLC. This means reduced wiring and eliminates the requirement for programming PLC-to-HMI panel communications.

Unitronics’ also slashed programming and setup time by developing another industry first: its programming environment where all tasks such as hardware and communication configuration, HMI application and PLC programming are accomplished in a single, feature-rich, user-friendly environment which is intuitive and has a phenomenal support system backing it at no extra cost to the user.

In an age of fierce, fast competition, Unitronics retains its edge by constantly adding to its broad range of PLCs. It makes micro-PLC and HMI devices for simple machine control as well as complex controllers with advanced functions, a variety of onboard input/output systems and multiple communication options, including support for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Trying to get one’s name out is not easy when in the shadows of giants. Being a small- to mid-sized company can make marketing efforts a difficult and expensive task. However, Unitronics has achieved considerable industry presence.

Its PLC and automation products division has won a number of awards from independent research organizations and major trade magazines such as Control Engineering. This recognition, for both hardware and software, was for Unitronics’ innovations in integrated PLC and touch panel operator interfaces and its trailblazing success in integrating communication technology in its controllers.

Unitronics was one of the first to support cellular communications standards in its PLCs. More recently, Unitronics embedded technology into its PLC and HMI UniStream line to support the move into IIoT and cloud technologies. The UniStream line, combined with the UniLogic programming environment, offers powerful and advanced control solutions for high-end machines and complex automation projects.

Unitronics’ parking solutions division is active in the automated parking sector, which benefits the public by increasing green spaces and reducing traffic congestion, vehicle emissions and the automotive carbon footprint. The parking solutions division has completed automated parking projects in New York, California and New Jersey, as well as Mexico City. The project in West Hollywood won four awards for excellence in 2016, from organizations in both the civic and parking sectors.

The system eliminates both the space wasted by ramps in a traditional parking garage and the security concerns of having to retrieve a vehicle from a shadowy, remote location. Retrieval of vehicles is all automatic, so no valet will be going for a joy ride.

Annual growth has been the norm for the company. Unitronics’ activity in the PLC and automation market continues thanks to innovative products, a large and loyal customer base, and vast distribution network. In addition, Unitronics works hard to help its customers retain their competitive edge. It also offers customized products to fully answer the specific needs of its large OEM customers.

Another reason for growth results from the company’s policy of customer care. Unitronics provides personalized support, delivered by real people; its customers never have to go through a maze of automated answers. It does not matter if a customer calls by phone, sends an e-mail or posts a question on the company’s lively support forum.

Questions will always be answered by a member of the Unitronics team. Its distribution network also allows customers to receive sales and technical support, close to home, in a language they prefer. A multi-lingual technical team travels all over the world to run training seminars in a variety of languages, as well as hosting regular on-line webinars. Unitronics’ CEO, Haim Shani, is also the company founder and remains actively involved in all three divisions of the company

Unitronics also promotes community education in the field of automation through its active donations program. In North America, for example, equipment was recently donated to high schools and universities in California, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Connecticut. It also donated a complete laboratory to a technical college in Israel.

Unitronics faces the future with confidence since its track record of innovation and excellence provides a secure foundation for continued product development. Its development of new products is guided by a close relationship with its worldwide distributors and the customers that purchase its products. Unitronics is and will continue to be at the forefront of ‘green technologies’, such as renewable energy, water technologies and energy savings.



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