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System Design

Since 1997 Soft Control has been a systems house designing solutions for PLCs, HMIs & SCADA systems around the United Kingdom. Over the years we have worked in a variety of industries on a multitude of machinery/processes (see case studies for examples). Our experienced engineers design systems using tried and tested methods and adopt a company standard PLC software development structure. This allows an engineer to quickly and accurately work with a piece of code that they didn’t write themselves. We design and install functional safety systems that meet the requirements of the Machinery Directive (ISO13849, IEC62061).

Principle control system activities:-


  • Control Solution Templates
    • Templates are systems which we are written and can be used on a similar application lowering time in the development process
  • Control System Commissioning
  • Control System Installations
  • Control System Modification
  • Control System Retrofits
  • Control System Software Rewrites
  • Machine Relocation
  • Machine Safety (IEC62016, ISO13849)

Visit Case Studies to view some detailed accounts of our system design projects and breakdowns we have attended.

Typical control principles employed:


  • General sequential control with built in self-monitoring, fault reporting, stage control with flexible halt, pause, repeat stage and ease of interlocking with other sequences running in parallel. PID control loops.
  • Measurement and control of process variables (temperature, pressure, level, recipe handling, humidity, position, speed, torque, tension, weight, etc) Drive – inverter and Servo control, AC feed drives.
  • Energy saving for motors.
  • Industrial distributed i/o networks.
  • Intuitive HMI and SCADA system design.
  • Dual and three channel redundancy control architecture.
  • Functional safety systems for machinery.

System Retrofitting
(Upgrades, Legacy, Migration)

Soft Control has significant experience of this practice, from small standalone machinery to high complexity production systems, we have retrofitted major system that have had narrow outage windows.

Accurately translating the old system code to the new controller platform, simulation and creating a fall-back position where we can commission the new system in stages switching back to the obsolete system to suit the production schedule.

Old operator interfaces are translated to a modern platform by thoroughly understanding the function and menu structure then translating the result to a modern platform keeping a reasonable degree of similarity for the operators.

Typically, we would recommend a manufacturers system based on equipment availability, reliability and historically how well that manufacturer has provided a reliable upgrade path.


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