SAM's Automation & Industrial IT



SAM‘s design team offers a highly sophisticated design capability.  We utilise Computer Aided Design (CAD) facilities and manufacture our end products in conjunction with our network of partners, who in turn utilise Computer Aided Manufacturing equipment

SAM offers a skilled and experienced team of Software, Hardware, Electronic, Electrical, Mechanical and Process Control Engineers to provide a comprehensive service based on our experiences gained from our vast client base.

We offer a quick response service where quality is uncompromised while meeting the client’s stringent deadline requirements.

We ensure that the client’s engineering needs are met by carefully selecting the right skills profile to meet the clients exacting requirements with maximum efficiency and no delay.

SAM has a complete software team involved with PLC programming on AB (Rockwell), ABB, Beckhoff, GE, Modicon (Schneider) and SIEMENS PLCs; the configuration of SCADA packages such as Adroit, Citect, Intellution, WinCC and Wonderware.  

A particular strength within SAM has been the development of systems to tap into legacy computer systems such as the ABB PRAUT, ABB Master, GE CSBus and the Siemens SICOMP M70 process computers.


SAM has long term relationships with installation companies who form part of our business model.   These companies work in accordance with our procedures and standards. Installation of all C&I equipment, PLCs, MCCs, and ICT etc. is well within the capabilities of our team. We have extensive infrastructure ranging from a 4 ton truck, 1 ton pickups, workshop, stores, scaffolding, hoists, etc.

Our main facility is 800m² of office and 300m² of workshop and stores facilities in Bryanston, South Africa.  SAM also has a dedicated systems staging and testing area.   Our Durban Branch facility is 300 m² of office and workshop for both electrical and mechanical assembly.

SAM has extensive commissioning experience within the process and power utility environment, from the commissioning of the bag filter plant at Duvha Power Station, to the commissioning of the process computer systems/MIS at Matimba Power Station. Our policy is to ensure that the same team is involved with the design, software, and commissioning of the systems, thus no transfer of knowledge from one team to another is required.

At present SAM has a staff complement of over sixty within the Automation and Industrial IT environment. In particular, SAM has extensive experience in the commissioning of the SIEMENS Simatic PCS 7 product range, InterBus, Windows SCADA packages as well as the commissioning of over seventy data acquisitions systems based on our “Visual Automation” package.

We Are Specialists In WHAT WE DO


  • Advanced Motion Control
  • Commissioning
  • Conceptual Design
  • Detailed Engineering Design
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Field Support
  • Hardware Design
  • Installation
  • Plant Maintenance
  • Project Management
  • Safety Critical Systems
  • Site Management
  • Software Design
  • Software Version Control
  • System Integration
  • Technical Audits


"Our Philosophy is to deliver quality projects and services, while still making them affordable to our clients"
~Claudio Agostinetto - M.D.~

sam's Automation & Industrial IT


A distributed control system (DCS) is a computerised control system for a process or plant usually with many control loops, in which autonomous controllers are distributed throughout the system, but there is no central operator supervisory control. This is in contrast to systems that use centralized controllers; either discrete controllers located at a central control room or within a central computer. The DCS concept increases reliability and reduces installation costs by localising control functions near the process plant, with remote monitoring and supervision.

Distributed control systems first emerged in large, high value, safety critical process industries, and were attractive because the DCS manufacturer would supply both the local control level and central supervisory equipment as an integrated package, thus reducing design integration risk. Today the functionality of SCADA and DCS systems are very similar, but DCS tends to be used on large continuous process plants where high reliability and security is important, and the control room is not geographically remote.

A variable-frequency drive (VFD) or adjustable-frequency drive (AFD), variable-voltage/variable-frequency (VVVF) drive, variable speed drive (VSD), AC drive, micro drive or inverter drive is a type of motor drive used in electro-mechanical drive systems to control AC motor speed and torque by varying motor input frequency and voltage.

VFDs are used in applications ranging from small appliances to large compressors. About 25% of the world's electrical energy is consumed by electric motors in industrial applications. Systems using VFDs can be more efficient than those using throttling control of fluid flow, such as in systems with pumps and damper control for fans. However, the global market penetration for all applications of VFDs is relatively small.

Over the last four decades, power electronics technology has reduced VFD cost and size and has improved performance through advances in semiconductor switching devices, drive topologies, simulation and control techniques, and control hardware and software.

Fieldbus is the name of a family of industrial computer networks[1] used for real-time distributed control. Fieldbus profiles are standardized by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as IEC 61784/61158.

A complex automated industrial system is typically structured in hierarchical levels as a distributed control system (DCS). In this hierarchy the upper levels for production managements are linked to the direct control level of programmable logic controllers (PLC) via a non-time-critical communications system (e.g. Ethernet). The fieldbus links the PLCs of the direct control level to the components in the plant of the field level such as sensors, actuators, electric motors, console lights, switches, valves and contactors and replaces the direct connections via current loops or digital I/O signals.

The requirement for a fieldbus are therefore time-critical and cost sensitive. Since the new millennium a number of fieldbuses based on Real-time Ethernet have been established. These have the potential to replace traditional fieldbuses in the long term.

A Management Information System (MIS) is an information system[1] used for decision-making, and for the coordination, control, analysis, and visualization of information in an organization.

The study of the management information systems involves people, processes and technology in an organizational context.

In a corporate setting, the ultimate goal of the use of a management information system is to increase the value and profits of the business.[4] This is done by providing managers with timely and appropriate information allowing them to make effective decisions within a shorter period of time.

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are computerized systems used in manufacturing to track and document the transformation of raw materials to finished goods. MES provides information that helps manufacturing decision makers understand how current conditions on the plant floor can be optimized to improve production output. MES works in real time to enable the control of multiple elements of the production process (e.g. inputs, personnel, machines and support services).

MES may operate across multiple function areas, for example: management of product definitions across the product life-cycle, resource scheduling, order execution and dispatch, production analysis and downtime management for overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), product quality, or materials track and trace. MES creates the "as-built" record, capturing the data, processes and outcomes of the manufacturing process. This can be especially important in regulated industries, such as food and beverage or pharmaceutical, where documentation and proof of processes, events and actions may be required.

The idea of MES might be seen as an intermediate step between, on the one hand, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) or process control system on the other; although historically, exact boundaries have fluctuated. Industry groups such as MESA International—Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association were created in the early 1990s in order to address the complexity, and advise on execution, of MES Systems.

Industrial Ethernet (IE) is the use of Ethernet in an industrial environment with protocols that provide determinism and real-time control.[1] Protocols for industrial Ethernet include EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, POWERLINK, SERCOS III, CC-Link IE, and Modbus TCP. Many industrial Ethernet protocols use a modified Media Access Control (MAC) layer to provide low latency and determinism.[1] Some microcontrollers such as Sitara provide industrial Ethernet support.

Industrial Ethernet can also refer to the use of standard Ethernet protocols with rugged connectors and extended temperature switches in an industrial environment, for automation or process control. Components used in plant process areas must be designed to work in harsh environments of temperature extremes, humidity, and vibration that exceed the ranges for information technology equipment intended for installation in controlled environments. The use of fiber-optic Ethernet variants reduces the problems of electrical noise and provides electrical isolation.

Some industrial networks emphasized deterministic delivery of transmitted data, whereas Ethernet used collision detection which made transport time for individual data packets difficult to estimate with increasing network traffic. Typically, industrial uses of Ethernet employ full-duplex standards and other methods so that collisions do not unacceptably influence transmission times.

A programmable logic controller (PLC) or programmable controller is an industrial digital computer that has been ruggedized and adapted for the control of manufacturing processes, such as assembly lines, robotic devices, or any activity that requires high reliability, ease of programming, and process fault diagnosis.

PLCs can range from small modular devices with tens of inputs and outputs (I/O), in a housing integral with the processor, to large rack-mounted modular devices with thousands of I/O, and which are often networked to other PLC and SCADA systems.

They can be designed for many arrangements of digital and analog I/O, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed-up or non-volatile memory.

PLCs were first developed in the automobile manufacturing industry to provide flexible, rugged and easily programmable controllers to replace hard-wired relay logic systems. Since then, they have been widely adopted as high-reliability automation controllers suitable for harsh environments.

A PLC is an example of a "hard" real-time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a limited time, otherwise unintended operation will result.

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a control system architecture comprising computers, networked data communications and graphical user interfaces (GUI) for high-level process supervisory management, while also comprising other peripheral devices like programmable logic controllers (PLC) and discrete proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers to interface with process plant or machinery. The use of SCADA has been considered also for management and operations of project-driven-process in construction.

SAM specialises in a range of sectors


SAM specialises in automation, controls, MIS and MES for the following Industries

Body Shops Vehicle Turn Over Fixtures
Hoisting Vehicle Transport
Motion Controls Vehicle and Parts Tracking
RFID Trolley Cars
Stamping Shops Test Bays
Access Control Systems Security control systems
Lighting Control Systems Networking and Integration
Fire Detection CCTV
Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning (HVAC) Control Systems
Blending Roller Presses
Kilns Palletising
Material Handling Packaging
Bottling Winders & Re-winders
Brewing Washing Plants
Cellars Warehousing
Milling Tracking
Mobile Storage Slitting Lines
Packaging & Collating Palletising
Billing EMDAS(Energy Metering & Data Acquisition Systems)
Electrical Energy Metering & Control
Crushing & Milling for Coal, Copper, Gold, Iron & Platinum Underground Material Handling for Coal, Copper, Gold, Iron & Platinum
Stackers/Reclaimers/Spreaders for Ash, Coal, Gold, Copper, Iron & Platinum Furnace & Smelters for Iron,Steel, Manganese & Stainless Steel
Material Handling for Ash, Coal, Copper, Gold, Iron & Platinum Floatation Plants for Copper, Gold & Platinum
Load Out Stations for Coal & Iron Fluidised Bed Furnaces
Refrigeration Plants Shaft Ventilation
AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulators) Water Cannons
Boilers Water & Wash Treatments
Bunker Oil Storage Turbine Auxiliaries
Cooling Towers Substation Automation
FGD (Flue-gas Desulfurisation) Station Controls & Electrical Operator Desks
Fabric Filter Plants Stackers/Reclaimers/ Spreaders for Ash & Coal
Generator Protection & Synchronisation Low Pressure Services & Compressor Controls
FGD (Flue-gas Desulfurisation) Station Controls & Electrical Operator Desks
Generator Temperature Monitoring Material Handling for Ash & Coal
Generator Protection & Synchronisation Low Pressure Services & Compressor Controls
HV Yards Soot Blowers
Mills SO3 Injection
Oil Burners Precipitators
Material Handling Winders & Re-winders
Packaging & Collating Water & Wash Treatments
Palletising Warehousing
Slitting Lines Tracking
Concentrators Thickeners
De-Nox Plants Sewage
HF-Nox Plants Refrigeration Plants
Clarifiers Sand Filters
Condensate Conditioning Plants Reverse Osmosis
Demineralising Plants Potable Water
Dosing Laboratories



SAM has a large cleint base of leading companies in South Africa in a large range of industries from mining to transport....

View Clients

  • ABB
  • ArcelorMittal
  • Actom John Thompson (Pty) Ltd.
  • Amcoal
  • Amplats
  • Anglo American
  • A T C Cables
  • Atlas Copco
  • Alstom
  • Aveng Water
  • City Power (Jhb)
  • Clyde Bergemann
  • Cobra Watertech
  • Columbus Stainless
  • De Beers
  • Envig
  • Eskom
  • Foskor
  • Lennings Rail Service
  • Lurgi
  • Mannesman
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Metal Spinnings
  • Metso Minerals
  • Nampak
  • Natref
  • Necsa
  • Nissan
  • Palaborwa Mining Company Ltd.
  • Pyromet
  • Samancor
  • S A Mint
  • Sasol I
  • Sasol II
  • Sasol III
  • SNC Lavalin
  • Steinmuller
  • Tenova
  • Tetra Pak
  • Toyota
  • Unifoods



ELB-KCC to build a 25 MW biomass power plant in Mpumalanga

SAM was awarded to automate the power station using Siemens PCS 7 Hybrid DCS.

  • Client
    Ngodwana Energy Limited
  • Location
    Mpumalanga - South Africa
  • Duration

Orapa Diamond Mine Botswana

SAM has been awarded to perform the plant automation upgrade in plant 2

  • Client
    Orapa Diamond Mine
  • Location
    Oropa Botswana
  • Duration

Tenova Kazchrome Kazakhstan

SAM was awarded to do the automation for the innovative furnace technology developed by Tenova Pyromet

  • Client
    Tenova South Africa (PTY) Ltd.
  • Location
  • Duration

General Industry

Project Lists

SAM has completed a vast number of projects in Power, Mining and other General Industries over the last 22 years. Please download the SAM project lists, showing a cross section of projects completed by us. Download our project lists below.

File Name: General Industry Projects.pdf
File Name: Mining Industry Projects.pdf
File Name: Power Industry Projects.pdf
File Name:Version Control Projects.pdf