Vsuite Automation

The core business of VRT is the provision and support of industrial information solutions, and this started over 28 years ago with Automation systems. In that time we've worked in discrete control and continuous process, with RTU, PLC and DCS technologies from almost all the major automation vendors. We pride ourselves on being independent and actively avoid vendor relationships that restrict our ability to offer impartial advice, or stop us from delivering the best fit for the problem at hand.

Over the years we have implemented projects with MacroView (on Unix, Windows and Linux platforms), Wonderware, CitectSCADA, FactoryTalk View, OSIsoft's PI and dozens of smaller HMI systems. We've programmed PLCs from all the major automation vendors and written our fair share of low-level communications drivers for SCADA packages. Tackling complex software development exercises and then providing support for the stuff we build has also given us a healthy respect for the needs of long-term software maintenance, so our overriding philosophy is to use off the shelf product wherever possible, and save custom software development as a last resort.

Solution Components

Our Vsuite has been purpose-built for Automation applications and the integration of these with MES and business systems. Based on a modular framework around a reference architecture, Vsuite Automation is scalable and flexible, offering you a tailored, comprehensive solution from a single, experienced supplier, with elements that have been proven to work together already. The suite is comprised of a number of key components:

Programmable Controllers

Sometimes your needs are best served by having a process specialist design and implement your control layer, with a separate SCADA and MES provider looking after the layers above. At other times, you may prefer to have a single provider looking after it all together. VRT have extensive experience operating under both models - we've enjoyed long-term relationships working co-operatively with companies providing control & instrumentation expertise; and we've also got significant in-house skills to be able to deliver the total package. Read more

Communications Equipment

Your Control System is only as good as the communications network interconnecting the components. Whether you're building a redundant Ethernet network for your control system, or need help getting data across large distances, VRT have experience spanning high end managed switches, self-healing redundant fibre rings, wireless networks - all the way down to RS232 and RS485. Read more

SCADA Software

At one time or another, VRT has implemented just about every SCADA package out there. We still occasionally come across the need to implement a new one, but these days we tend to focus on those from Schneider or Rockwell for new systems, and MacroView for customers of ours who already have it. We're also starting to CET's PecStar more and more, where we find projects that need a mix of energy management and network control. Read more

Advanced Visualisation

If your process is particularly complex or spread over a large area, you may find traditional SCADA software limited in its ability to represent your process or facility. VRT's advanced visualisation tools can integrate with your existing control system to provide data-driven visualisations. Visualise plant startup or shutdown sequences, provide heat maps of complex three-dimensional processes, or provide a "Google Earth" style overview of your site. Read more


Pulling the whole solution together requires integration expertise, and with over 25 years of experience doing just that, VRT are well placed to deliver your next Automation project. We have experience integrating right from down at the controller level up to MES and business systems. We're as comfortable with over-the-wire binary protocol analysis as we are with web services and ESB. Read more

Training & Support

Training can often be the difference between the success or failure of a project. VRT does not operate under a ‘set and forget’ philosophy - we're there with you at the completion of the project to offer training as part of our handover, and we regard support as the most important function of our business. We offer a range of coverage levels up to full 24x7 support with provision to mobilise to site at short notice if the problem can't be rectified remotely. Read more


At Capcoal we are using VRT's PlantPortal™ to publish live production data from several of our sites on our Intranet. This has great value to the casual user, especially on the back shifts. It is often the first thing checked at the start of the shift. It provides an instant overview of the operations and performance of the plant, and is so simple to use.

Stewart McKain - IT Co-ordinator, Capricorn Coal (Anglo Coal)
November 1999