The Complete Guide: How to Find and Buy the Best Industrial Automation Products from China

By Sarah
August 15, 2023

Today, businesses are switching to easy ways to make their tasks faster. One example is automation. It makes any job or task get done more quickly. Technology is a big help to make it happen!

Do you know that China is the largest market for modern updates? You might be thinking about robots or sensors. Yes, they are part of it. Doing a job is as easy as pressing a button! Isn’t that amazing?

Have you seen a factory with no people working on it? Just machines, robots, tools, etc.! Less labor work, more on computers and tools. It is the goal of the future.

Today’s blog will teach you about China’s industrial automation products. As one of the largest markets to produce this, we will cover topics like the PLC.

1. Introduction

1) What is Industrial Automation?

Industrial Automation uses tools to operate machines or equipment to replace a human working on it. You use a robot or computer software to make it happen. As a result, fewer people are carrying out the tasks. It makes a process quicker and follows a system.

What is Industrial Automation

The Chinese market is now getting bigger and continues to grow in this sector. Many countries, like the US and UK, choose China to purchase or order these machines and tools.

2) What is the Importance of it?

Some people fear automation because they lose their jobs because of it. While it is true that they can replace humans, these are the reasons why they are needed:

  • Save time and money.

Automating it can save time and money when you have to do something repeatedly. When you streamline your business process and workflow, you can cut operating costs. Your staff can perform tasks quickly.

Workplace automation helps you save by cutting costs on jobs that are prone to mistakes. Tasks can be done on time and without errors when automated.

  • For safety purposes

Machines can do some tasks that are prone to mistakes or risky. Some jobs can be too dangerous or difficult for humans to do. Machines can do it safely. There are tasks that humans are very hesitant to do. But with automation, it is done on time.

Robots can replace humans in unsafe environments. It can help to avoid injury and for humans to focus on areas they can do best.

  • Increase in production

When there are machines and tools, productivity is guaranteed. By using systems, it can handle and produce more. It has control systems that can set desired quotas. It saves time and yields more efficiency.

3) What are Industrial Automation products?

To give you an example, think about cars to make this a little easier to understand. Cars are not just made by human labor. There are tools, machines, and sensors used to create them.

So the products that are used in industrial applications are:

  • Robots
  • Machine tools with numerical control
  • Programmable logic controllers
  • Computer numerical control
  • Industrial sensors

The primary purpose of these products is to bring safety and great results. Automation is one technology product that can bring accuracy and eliminate complex labor tasks.

2. What are some of the Best Industrial Automation Products to Import from China?

In China, you can find suppliers of these products. We will explain each below. You can import the following:

1) Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)

PLCs are the central control points for various automated systems and processes. They have numerous inputs and outputs, replicate switches, and relays for equipment control using transistors and other circuits. They may be programmed using software that connects to computers using proprietary languages and computer interfaces.

Programmable Logic Controllers

2) Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs)

A user interface or dashboard that connects a person to a machine, system, or device is known as a human-machine interface (HMI). HMI is most frequently used in relation to an industrial process. It refers to any screen that enables a user to interact with a device.

3) Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)

Variable Frequency Drive or VFD are used to regulate an AC motor’s speed. It prevents a high load from straining an engine at startup. It is also used to ramp up a motor for a smooth start.

4) Sensors

Sensors monitor the manufacturing sector’s performance of many processes and machine features. These sensors collect data to establish baseline operating levels while identifying even the most minor variations in performance.

5) Industrial Robots

An industrial robot is created to automate labor-intensive manufacturing operations in an assembly line continually in motion. It is found in fixed locations across an industrial facility as massive, heavy robots. And it is placed where worker duties and operations revolve around them.

6) Industrial Control Panels

Industrial control panels are essential when automating equipment for products like heaters, motors, or pump loads. They are utilized for larger, more powerful industrial gear, including cranes, elevators, manufacturing, refrigeration, and other equipment.

7) Industrial Ethernet Switches

Industrial Ethernet switches are used to bring high-speed internet to factories, ports, ships, energy farms, and mines. It offers dependable, high-speed data transfer for industrial networks, with 10G industrial switches for faster rates.

8) Motion Control Systems

A motion control system is any system that regulates energy flow to produce mechanical motion with specific desired attributes. An automated motion control system has three essential parts- a motion controller, a motor driver or amplifier, and a motion device.

9) Industrial Power Supplies

Electrical equipment called industrial power supplies is used to power industrial machinery. A power supply is any device that supplies electricity to a circuit. It is used to power various electrical loads.

10) Industrial Communication Systems

An industrial communication network is designed to manage real-time control and data integrity over substantial installations in challenging environments. It links all parts of a plant—from management down to the field level—into a single networked system.

3. What is PLC or Programmable Logic Controller?

Now we will focus on this topic. PLC is one of the products you can buy from a wide selection of suppliers in China. PLC suppliers here understand the requirements of each client.

1) PLC and Its Scope

PLC is a computer made for industrial automation. These controllers can automate a particular procedure, a machine feature, or even a whole manufacturing line.

The latest generation of tiny PLCs are dependable, functionally strong, and include cutting-edge technology. It gives users superior data insights and analytics, accessibility, and the ability to meet the requirements of the various applications it supports.

PLCs use networking, IoT, quicker CPUs, and smaller designs to instantly control automation and share data.

PLC and Its Scope

They controls the industrial processes and industrial automation. PLCs regulate different actuators and analog and digital sensors and communicate over numerous interfaces using conventions or protocols. And they also carry out signal processing, data conversion, and control tasks.

2) Advantages and Functions

PLC automation is a great help for businesses. We will tell you why:

  • PLCs are reliable

PLCs are equipped with features like built-in protection against electrical noise and temperature. They can perform well even in a challenging environment. They are more dependable than the traditional systems.

  • PLCs are versatile

You can program a PLC to do a wide range of work, from easy on/off control to complicated motion and process automation. It is very simple to reprogram to accommodate changing needs.

  • PLCs are simple and easy to maintain

PLCs have a modular structure, making it simple to replace damaged parts without impacting the rest of the system. They have built-in tools for self-diagnosis that can help when troubleshooting problems.

  • PLCs are flexible

PLC systems can be adjustable because they can be reprogrammed by adding extra controllers.

  • PLCs are cost-effective

PLCs are very low in maintenance so you can save in the long run. You will find that even if you spend big on purchasing, you can save on operating costs.

  • PLCs are safe and can have remote access.

It is part of PLC solutions for a secure operation and safety function. You can access them remotely, so monitoring or troubleshooting is more convenient.

  • PLCs are accurate and with faster response.

Because they are made with solid components, PLCs have a quick processing rate for inputs. As a result, they produce outputs faster. They can control things accurately and are perfect for robots and other applications.

3) Role of PLC in Industrial Automation

The PLC gathers data from the sensors or input devices that were installed into it. It processes and initiates outputs in pre-programmed specifications.

A PLC can detect, keep track, and record run-time data. For example, it can monitor machine productivity or operating temperature. It depends on the inputs and outputs when you programmed the PLC. It can do the automatic start and stop processes in a workplace. For machines, it create alarms in the event of a  malfunction and do other tasks.

With PLC, you can apply reliable control solutions and programmable logic controllers to any application.

4) What are PLC services?

In China, you can find companies that cater to making PLC systems. They offer these services to their clients for use in any industry or process that must be controlled.

For example, in the food industry, machines are used to package or process food or beverage. If you apply PLC to these machines, you can set a rule to simplify the process. Here’s what a PLC can do:

PLCs are utilized in food and beverage manufacturing facilities to manage packaging and processing equipment.

What are PLC services

For instance, a PLC could be set up to:

  • A conveyor belt will begin to work when a container is placed underneath it.
  • When the container is filled, the conveyor belt should stop.
  • When the container is empty, turn on a light.

Typically, a computer or other device running specialized software controls PLCs. The user of this software can write programs, edit them, and keep track of the PLC’s state.

PLCs employ a programming language unique to the make and model of the PLC. The user of this language can develop logic statements, or “rules,” that specify how the PLC ought to operate.

4. Can you purchase PLC from China?

1) What is PLC China?

They are made-in-China Programmable Logic controllers or PLCs. These are automation products made by PLC companies licensed to carry out these automation systems for any industry. These systems are created based on the need of a client.

2) What is a PLC company?

A PLC company specializes in making PLCs. Any industry that requires the control of machines or processes can hire a PLC company to do the controllers for them. Different types of PLC companies specialize in the nature of work.

What is a PLC company

Industries like oil and gas, processing companies, or any industry can go to a PLC company, making the system suitable for their needs.

3) Why choose China as your PLC supplier?

China companies know what is needed to run a business and make it successful. The skills they possess and the knowledge they have led to gaining clients around the world as a PLC supplier.

The Chinese market for industrial automation is expanding far more quickly than other areas of the country’s economy and will nearly double in the following five years.

Chinese suppliers of PLCs have steadily increased their market share in recent years. Even companies worldwide go to China for testing and creation of their PLCs.

4) Who are the PLC manufacturers in China?

China is one of the biggest markets for automation. You can find a PLC manufacturer if you search on Google or other Chinese platforms. Some can come from referrals or recommendations in social groups or forums. Another best resource is a sourcing firm.

We list down some of the best PLC manufacturers in China:

  • Hong Kong Xieyuan Tech Co., Limited
  • Shenzhen YAKO Automation Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Kinco Automation (Shanghai) Ltd.
  • Veichi Electric Co., Ltd.
  • Array Electronic Co., Ltd.
  • Step Automation Engineering (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
  • Combine Eletronic & Electric Co., Ltd (CB)
  • Beijing HollySys Co., Ltd.
  • Mouser Electronics China Division
  • WECON Technology Co., Ltd.

5) How do you choose reliable PLC suppliers for your business?

You must be cautious and meticulous when choosing PLC makers, distributors, or suppliers. We have a few tips for you.

Check on these critical factors.

You must choose more than just a few but all of these factors to be your guide when choosing your supplier. If they can comply based on these, you know you are choosing the right company.

  • What kind of computer language is required?
  • How many machines or task procedures/processes will need to be controlled by the application in terms of size?
  • What kind of interfaces for communication is required?
  • How much information needs to be read, written, or both?
  • What kind of environment (difficult conditions, extremes in temperature and humidity, etc.) will the PLC operate in?
  • How many I/O (input/output) points are necessary?

Check on their clients.

A good PLC factory or PLC distributor will not mind being asked who their clients are. It is essential to check their portfolio and find out who trusted them.

Check the company and do some research.

Are they a new company? Are they certified? Do they have licenses? Do they have bad records when you search the internet?

Checking does not only mean reading what they put on their profile but ensuring whatever is in there is valid.

5. Transportation and Installation of PLC

1) Safe transportation and packaging requirements for PLC

PLC products are fragile and sensitive items. PLC suppliers pack it safely in a box wrapped with cushioning supports and special packaging like racks or pallets. PLCs are shipped via air or sea freight depending on their size and type.

2) Steps for installation and commissioning of PLC

PLCs go through steps before they can be tested. It needs to be installed and programmed.

  • Installation

Dedicated IT personnel, engineers, and technicians are the people who will install and test the PLC. Other tools are needed. Additional requirements include a connection port, a chassis or rack, and a programming tool such as an external computer.

Many of these elements are merged into a single device, depending on the type of PLC. A compact module, for instance, might feature a CPU with a predetermined number of I/O and a particular connection interface.

  • Programming

Programming is necessary for PLCs before they may operate and carry out their assigned responsibilities. Typically, these programs are created using a programming language or piece of software. The programmable logic controller’s memory or RAM is then updated with the program.

Steps for installation and commissioning of PLC

The CPU can read the input data and provide the PLC instructions for the required outputs based on the written program. To configure your PLC system, a variety of programming languages are available.

  • Operation

Finally, the last step is the PLC operation. Understanding how a PLC controller functions after the program is developed and the suitable I/O modules are chosen will be helpful. Based on the given data and prewritten logic, the programmable logic controller will process the inputs, carry out the program’s instructions, and produce the outputs (results).

PLCs work in a loop that repeats after the user selects the inputs and outputs. The four fundamental actions of a PLC are as follows:

  1. Determines the condition of input devices linked to the PLC using input scanning.
  1. Runs user-created programs
  1. Operating all output devices linked to the PLC is known as an output scan.
  1. Cleaning up – Interacts with other devices and performs diagnostics

3) Best practices for transportation and installation of PLC

PLCs need extreme proper care to ensure they will last long and not malfunction. We are giving you some ideas from PLC suppliers on installing the PLC safely.

When installing a PLC, we must exercise sufficient caution to minimize harm to automated control systems.

  • It must not be installed in locations where it will receive direct sunlight.
  • Where the PLC is mounted, the temperature cannot exceed 55 degrees Celsius.
  • Electrical noise in a PLC can be brought on by high-voltage equipment and power cables.
  • The PLC cannot be installed in a panel with high-voltage devices.
  • The distance between the PLC and any neighboring electrical lines should be at least 200 mm.
  • The PLC needs to be installed to be accessed for use and upkeep.
  • It cannot be installed next to high-voltage machinery.
  • 10% to 90% relative humidity (RH)
  • It cannot be put in locations with flammable or toxic gases.
  • Installation shouldn’t take place in areas with a lot of vibration.
  • It shouldn’t be put in locations with oil or chemical dust.
  • We must leave ample room for airflow.

6. FAQ

1) What are the five most popular types of PLC?

The five popular and best types of PLC are:

  • LD or Ladder Diagram

Relay logic, which used physical components like switches and mechanical relays to regulate processes, served as the basis for the original form of the ladder diagram. It is the top choice because it uses internal logic and does not use complicated text.  The function requires an electrical queue to be activated.

  • SFC or Sequential Function Charts

You will feel comfortable using this PLC language if you are familiar with flowcharts. You employ stages and transitions in sequential function charts to reach your goals.

Unlike conventional flowcharts, SFC has several paths. Using branches, you can start several processes simultaneously.

  • FBD or Function Block Diagram

The analog inputs and outputs are joined in blocks through connection lines to make a transition in a function block diagram. They initially intended to establish a system with many typical, repetitive chores. You can set up the timers, counters, or loops.

Blocks are programmed, and the PLC continuously scans them in sequence or according to links through the blocks you have programmed.

  • ST or Structured Text

The next popular PLC is called ST or Structured Text.

This type of PLC can carry out repeated operations and complicated jobs involving codes and calculations. Semicolons separate statements in the code. It allows for easy conversion and use in software tools.

The code can use tools like CASE, FOR, IF, WHILE, ELSEIF, etc. You can easily identify errors when using ST.

  • IL or Instruction List

Assembly Language and the Instruction List language are similar. This PLC Programming Language can use shortcodes. Each instruction in the IL is on every line, and you may add any info or remarks you like. There are suppliers of IL/PLC parts in China.

2) Which PLC programming is best?

The language used to program PLCs most frequently is called LD or ladder diagram. It is a high-level, graphical programming language created to be simple to read and comprehend for straightforward maintenance and debugging.

The following are the key benefits of the ladder diagram language:

  • It is made structured and straightforward to follow thanks to the rungs.
  • Additionally, it enables you to record visible comments.
  • It successfully enables online editing.

3) What is the cost or rate of programmable logic controller?

The price or rate depends on the type of PLC. The cost ranges from $500-$10,000 or more. When sourcing a PLC agency or PLC dealer, choose the one with competitive rates and high-quality products. You can look for companies in China manufacturing PLC and custom PLC with minimum requirements.

7. Conclusion

Switching to automation would be brilliant if you consider leveling up your business. As you can see, there are many advantages you can get from industrial automation products like PLC.

There’s more to choosing PLC than knowing how to push a button. You are innovating and saving costs and resources at the same time. Using technology in your business can bring growth, profit, and expansion. You can ensure safety, reliability, and flexibility.

PLCs are well-known products in China. You can find a Chinese PLC or OEM PLC supplier for your company’s needs. It is never hard to find one, especially when you come to JustChinaIt, when sourcing PLC, and locating the best and most reliable company for you.

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