Pacific Coast Automation, Inc., located in Modesto, California, was founded in 2008 based upon the need for a competent, dependable and reasonably priced control system engineering firm, and not just a “controls tech” company which bases its existence on service calls. Since its meager beginning, PCA has seen an almost 500% growth from 2009 to 2010, making it a powerhouse in the controls industry. Major clients include General Mills, E&J Gallo, The Wine Group, California Dairies, Safeway, Cargill, CertainTeed, and the list goes on.

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While PCA primarily specializes in solutions for the Food and Beverage industry, we cover a wide variety of areas, including steel manufacturing, plastic products fabrication, agricultural products, chemical packaging, water/wastewater treatment and several others.

The PCA Difference

PCA offers its customers complete turnkey solutions, setting them apart from other integration firms. They provide services from conception to completion, which include upfront process consulting, design engineering, CAD drafting, PLC/HMI programming, construction supervision, startup support, operator/ maintenance training, and follow up services. In addition to our integration services, PCA, a UL 508A listed panel fabrication facility, designs and builds custom control panels at our location. PCA also has electrical and mechanical contracting partnerships to provide complete solutions from concept to installation and beyond. PCA is a member of CSIA (Control System Integrators Association), a global, not-for-profit, professional association for control system integration companies.

PCASome of the application capabilities include bottling/packaging line control systems, wine and beer production, dairy processing, CIP (clean-in-place) systems, nut hulling operations, plant utilities, industrial wireless technologies and other food/beverage processes. One major part of PCA’s offerings includes the design and implementation of OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) systems. In contrast to canned solutions, PCA performs consulting and evaluation services for customers to determine which vendor’s solution is the best fit for their particular needs. Although it can be confusing and overwhelming for someone new to OEE, PCA removes the guesswork by utilizing years of experience and vast knowledge so customers can immediately benefit from the valuable data that such systems can provide.

During these difficult economic times, many companies look for ways to streamline operations and become more efficient. PCA assists customers by evaluating and suggesting cost-saving projects which may not be immediately apparent.

Starting with a complimentary plant “walk through” by a well-trained PCA engineer, suggestions are given which can lead to cost savings through the implementation of automated systems and/or modifications of existing systems. For example, PCA recently completed a cost savings project initially discovered by one of their engineers during a plant walk-through at CertainTeed in Lodi, CA, a PVC pipe manufacturer. The customer had a plant-wide filtered water system that was running more pumps than necessary, due to the way the piping was configured. PCA worked with CertainTeed to develop a new piping arrangement and control strategy to reduce the number of pumps that had to be running at any given time. By using DURApulse GS3 drive units in conjunction with a new PLC and C-More HMI, PCA developed an automatic control system which cycles the supply pumps based upon plant demand. As a result, CertainTeed will acheive a cost savings of over $50K a year and a return on investment of less than two years. PAC

PCA delivers meaningful and economical solutions to its customers while providing the utmost in customer service. PCA’s service area primarily covers the Northern California valley region, however, they service clients in several remote locations and have the ability to support processes via Internet and/or cellular networks. For more information on how PCA can benefit your particular operation, call (877) 655-8251 to set up a free consultation. You can also obtain more information and fill out an RFQ form by going to our Web site at:

By John Keller,
Pacific Coast Automation, Inc.

Originally Published: Dec 1, 2011