Automation refers to the use of technology and machinery to perform tasks without direct human intervention. It involves the application of systems, software, and machines to streamline and optimize processes, reducing the need for manual effort. Automation can enhance efficiency, accuracy, and speed in various industries, ranging from manufacturing and logistics to information technology and customer service.
One tends to think that automation work is undertaken only by the private sector. But this analysis will show that government agencies in India undertake quite a bit of automation work. For example, the electricity companies make significant investments in automation for streamlining their power distribution network. Automation technologies are actively used to monitor and manage water treatment plants. A number of government owned industries like the Steel Authority of India and the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited invest in automation technologies to enhance their efficiency in manufacturing. The automation work undertaken by the government agencies fall under multiple categories: SCADA, PLC systems, human-machine interface, and data acquisition systems.
Based on data compiled by Tendersniper from multiple public sources, Indian government agencies collectively issued 3748 tenders for automation systems in the last 12 months (October 2022 – October 2023). Uttar Pradesh leads with 558 tenders, comprising around 14% of the total, followed by Maharastra with 486 tenders.
A sophisticated system known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) integrates hardware and software components with the purpose of supervising and managing industrial processes, infrastructure, and facilities. Widely applied across industries such as manufacturing, energy, water treatment, and transportation, SCADA systems serve as a centralized platform for real-time monitoring and control. These systems empower operators to remotely oversee and adjust various components, collecting crucial data from sensors and devices in the field.
There is a notable interest among government agencies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India for the acquisition of SCADA. According to data compiled by Tendersniper from various public sources, Indian government agencies have collectively released 771 tenders for SCADA out of a total of 3,748 tenders for automation systems during the last 12 months (i.e., from October 2022 – October 2023). Notably, Haryana has contributed 128 tenders, representing around 16% of the total, while Maharashtra has published 110 tenders.
Government entities, such as infrastructure and planning departments, play a crucial role as significant procurers of SCADA. For instance, the Public Health Engineering Department and Kerala Water Authority have released tenders for WTP SCADA, indicating their active involvement in acquiring this technology. The deployment of SCADA systems in water treatment plants serves to oversee and manage diverse processes related to the treatment of raw water, ensuring the production of safe and potable water for consumption. Additionally, notable organizations like U P Jal Nigam and the Department of Water Resources have issued tenders for the installation of SCADA. Out of the 771 tenders advertised in the last year, 103 (13.35%) were published by the infra and planning sector.
There are specific agencies within the government for the deployment of real-time monitoring of power generation, transmission, and distribution processes and these agencies have acquired SCADA systems. Illustrative instances of such efforts include the Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Ltd and Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited, which issued tenders for the appointment of a SCADA/DMS Implementation Agency (SIA) to execute the SCADA/DMS Project under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS). Similarly, other noteworthy agencies like TNEB Limited released tenders for the Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) of SCADA. Out of the 771 tenders issued in the past year, 86 (11.15%) were specifically related to the power sector.
Furthermore, various urban development agencies, including the Haryana Board Corporation and the Department of Urban Development, have actively procured SCADA systems in the past year. These acquisitions encompass a diverse range, from SCADA Panels and Co-gen Plant automation (DCS-SCADA) Systems to SCADA Training Systems and SCADA-based ACFC and Imbibition control systems. The urban development sector consists of 30 agencies, a substantial portion of which is likely to engage in SCADA acquisitions. Besides the above, Meghalaya Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation – World Bank Tenders issued tenders for the SCADA IoT system. Additionally, entities such as the Haryana Government, Military Engineer Services, West Central Rly, and the Odisha Skill Development and Technical Education Department have also made purchases of SCADA systems.
As of December 11th, 2023, there are currently 82 active tenders for SCADA. Among these, Punjab is at the forefront with 24 tenders, constituting 29%, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 21 tenders, representing 26%. Haryana has issued 12 tenders, accounting for 15%, while Maharashtra has published 8 tenders, making up 10% of the total. Kerala and Madhya Pradesh have each contributed 6 tenders, constituting 7%, and Gujarat has posted 5 tenders, making up 6% of the total tenders. This distribution of live tenders highlights a widespread demand for SCADA across various regions in India.
A specialized industrial computing device, the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), is essential for automating and controlling machinery and processes in manufacturing and industrial settings. The core functionality of a PLC involves interfacing with the physical world through input and output modules, where inputs receive signals from sensors or switches, and outputs control actuators, motors, and various devices.
Notably, there is a significant interest among government entities and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India for the procurement of PLCs. According to data compiled by Tendersniper from various public sources, Indian government agencies have collectively issued 1109 tenders for PLCs out of a total of 3,748 tenders for automation systems over the past 12 months (from October 2022 to October 2023). Andhra Pradesh, contributed 112 tenders, constituting approximately 10% of the overall total, along with Maharashtra, which has published 85 tenders.
In India, government-affiliated power agencies extensively utilize Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) for load shedding, fault detection, and comprehensive system optimization. These agencies play a pivotal role as significant procurers of PLC technology. For instance, entities like the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited and UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd are actively acquiring Siemens Ash PLC systems and Schneider Make PLC systems. Additionally, notable agencies such as Aravali Power Company Pvt. Ltd and Telangana Power Generation Corporation Limited have released tenders for PLC spares and PLC cards. Out of the 1109 tenders issued in the past year, 176 (15.87%) originated from the power sector, underscoring the sector’s substantial involvement in the procurement of PLC technology.
Many educational institutions procure Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) to facilitate hands-on learning and offer practical skill development training to students. Notably, higher education establishments like the National Institute of Technology Calicut and the National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli issued tenders for PLC Trainer Kits and Industrial PLC systems. The Department of Higher Education published tenders for the Edutrainer Universal with PLC, while the Inter-University Accelerator Centre has purchased PLC Processor through its tenders. Furthermore, the Cochin University of Science and Technology issued tenders for an Advanced PLC-based data collection/acquisition/logging hardware system. These educational agencies acquire PLC technology to enhance the learning experience and prepare students for practical applications in the field of automation and control systems.
Additionally, several other organizations, including the Military Engineer Services, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, and the Steel Authority of India, have issued tenders for the supply and installation of PLC systems.
As of December 11th, 2023, there are currently 41 active tenders for PLC. Out of these, Andhra Pradesh issued 10 tenders, each with a 27% participation rate. Maharashtra released 8 tenders with a 22% bid acceptance rate. Telangana, West Bengal, Haryana, and Chhattisgarh collectively issued 4 tenders, each with an 11% rate. Himachal Pradesh introduced 3 tenders, making up 8% of the total. This distribution of live tenders highlights a widespread demand for PLC across various regions in India.
Remote Terminal Units
Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) are electronic devices widely utilized across diverse industries, particularly in the field of industrial automation and control systems. Specifically designed to monitor, gather, and transmit data from distant locations to a central control hub. They play a crucial role in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
RTUs find application in sectors such as oil and gas, water treatment, power distribution, and environmental monitoring. Notably, there is a notable interest among government entities and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India to procure RTUs. As per data compiled by Tendersniper from various public sources, Indian government agencies have collectively issued 260 tenders for RTUs out of a total of 3,748 tenders for automation systems in the past 12 months (from October 2022 to October 2023). Maharashtra has contributed 35 tenders, accounting for approximately 13% of the overall total, and West Bengal has published 29 tenders.
Government agencies like the Indian Oil Corporation Limited and the Gas Authority of India Limited release requests for proposals concerning the procurement and installation of Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) for centralized SCADA systems. Among the 260 tenders issued in the last year, 43 (16.53%) specifically originated from the oil and gas sector, highlighting the sector’s significant engagement in acquiring RTU technology.
Several entities, including TNEB Limited and MP Power Transmission Company Ltd, issued tenders for the Supply and Commissioning of RTUs. Moreover, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and the Department of Water Resources published tenders for water flow meters with telemetry systems. In this context, a telemetry system, also known as a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), enables the remote collection and transmission of data from sensors or instruments at a specific location to a central point for analysis and monitoring. Additionally, South Eastern Rly and Cochin Shipyard Ltd issued tenders for the Supply of Remote Terminal Units.
As of December 11th, 2023, there are presently 18 active tenders for RTU. Uttar Pradesh is at the forefront with 4 tenders, accounting for 24%, while Madhya Pradesh follows closely with 3 tenders, representing 18%. Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan each contribute 2 tenders, collectively making up 12% of the total tenders. This distribution underscores a broad demand for RTUs across diverse regions in India.
This analysis underscores a substantial demand for automation technologies, including SCADA, PLCs, and RTUs, among government entities and PSUs in various sectors across India. These technologies exhibit ongoing evolution, incorporating advancements in connectivity, cybersecurity, and data analytics. Their integration with modern innovations like the Internet of Things (IoT) has introduced new capabilities and functionalities. The increasing demand, coupled with technological advancements, emphasizes the government’s focus on localized manufacturing.
Given that several thousands of automation tenders are advertised each year, the government segment is impossible to ignore. It is recommended that the manufacturers of SCADA, PLCs, and RTUs and those providing related consultancy services actively monitor automation tenders and participate in them.