Cumming, Georgia 30040


About AutomationDirect

AutomationDirect is a direct seller of automation and industrial control products with our primary products falling into the categories of PLCs (programmable logic controllers), Operator Interface panels, Variable Frequency Drives and Motors.

Product Summary

We also carry numerous products such as sensors, pushbuttons, motors, enclosures, wire, temperature and process controllers, and much more. Each year hundreds of new products are being added to our offering which makes us a fast growing and solid pl


3505 Hutchinson Road
Cumming, Georgia 30040
United States
(800) 633-0405
(770) 889-7876

More Info on AutomationDirect, originally founded as PLCDirect in 1994, has quickly grown from a tiny PLC company to a well-recognized name in the Industrial Automation Market. As the first industrial controls company to successfully use a direct sales catalog for PLC products, is now setting the standard online in industrial control sales.

PLCDirect was established as a privately held Georgia corporation that is a subsidiary of Koyo Electronics (part of the multi-billion dollar JTEKT group of companies). Koyo had designed and manufactured PLCs for some of the world's largest PLC companies, including General Electric, Texas Instruments, and Siemens. However, the future plans of these companies and Koyo were not compatible. 

Tim Hohmann, founder and company captain of PLCDirect, established the company in January 1994 as the first entity within the JTEKT group to concentrate on the micro PLC market. At its inception, PLCDirect consisted of a handful of people working out of a tiny leased building. 

Its first catalog consisted of 200 pages featuring about 200 products. For the first five years, the company focused on practical ways to deliver quality PLCs to customers at prices that were typically half of the traditional automation companies, including Allen-Bradley, GE Fanuc, and Siemens. Their competitive comparisons shown in advertisements and the catalog, combined with numerous Editor's Choice awards for innovative products, customer love letters, and their phenomenal sales growth, proved to tens of thousands of customers that PLCDirect was a solid choice for PLCs. 

In 1997, the company moved into a new facility, and completed its first expansion in March 1998 and has been continually expanding to this day. On March 31, 1999, the company changed its name to and launched its e-commerce site. Since then, the company catalog has expanded to 3 volumes featuring tens of thousands of brand name and private label products now conveniently available online or on USB. 5,000 pages of product informaiton in the palm of your hand or in your pocket. It's in familiar PDF format, so it's printable, searchable and mobile. Put your most read sections on your mobile device, pull it up for reference on-the-go, tap a part number on the page and you're instantly on our store. There you'll find up-to-minute pricing, stock availability, all specs, photos, videos and more.

What are some of the factors that have contributed to the success of the company? was one of the first in the industrial automation industry to employ direct marketing strategies to reach its customers, including advertisements and a direct sales catalog. The company's ability to sell high-technology automation products for very low prices depends on the efficiencies inherent in a direct marketing model. Our campus, just north of Atlanta, GA, is our sole location in the United States, and the office and warehouse space has been designed for maximum performance. For example, the sales team handles hundreds of phone orders every day from the privacy of well-equipped individual offices, which promotes productivity and efficiency.

Each member of the technical support team works in a technical suite designed with a full array of the company's products used for problem duplication and resolution. The warehouse operation is continually being updated and fine tuned for maximum effeciencies with an order shipping accuracy of 99.98%. Apart from the staff required at the central office, is really a "virtual" company, consisting of the "Federation of Companies." The Federation is a group of independently-operated businesses, some of which use as their primary marketing channel, designing products which adhere to the company's prime directive of "twice the features at half the price." Each company is encouraged to run itself in a manner that maximizes its own efficiencies. 

Also instrumental in achieving success was the installation of a high-performance team environment using the principles of Customer Driven Leadership (CDL) developed by Dr. Ted Anders, Ph.D. The teams are given responsibility for their tasks and the authority to execute them, and are held accountable to constantly find ways to improve service, products, and prices. To plot their progress, each team has a monthly, publicly displayed report card that displays their goals and the accomplishments in pursuit of those goals. Surveys are sent to customers to measure accuracy, helpfulness, timeliness and manners. 

Metrics measure how quickly the sales and service teams answer the phone and e-mails and return voice mail. Every team member, team lead, team captain, and the company captain has a portion of their compensation directly tied to customer indices such as these. To build and maintain motivated teams, the company offers benefits such as private offices, well-stocked kitchens, and several lunchtime exercise programs. "We're trying to be a little different. We strive to treat our people like billion-dollar assets, because without them, the company would not be the success it has been," says Hohmann. 

Looking to the future, Hohmann predicts growth through the continued introduction of new product lines and customers' increased leveraging of online power for business and information transactions. "As a direct company, we are in a great position to stay a step ahead of the competition on e-commerce initiatives. However, we want to make sure that the expanding dependence on the Internet doesn't mean we become impersonal. Our goal has always been to delight the customer, and we're dedicated to thinking up new ways to do that in every facet of the business." 

Articles & News

Courtesy of AutomationDirect
Figure 1: IO-Link devices rated for open installation make it possible for designers to push I/O closer to field devices, so that main control panels become smaller or are eliminated.
Control Panels & Enclosures

Distributed automation enables elimination or shrinking of control panels

July 4, 2023
Control panels will be with us for the foreseeable future, but the size and location of industrial enclosures is shifting as automation technology becomes more compact and distributed...
Courtesy of AutomationDirect
Figure 1: Even general-purpose VFDs, like the Automation Direct DURApulse GS20 family, include advanced features like sensorless vector control and torque control modes. More capable models, like the WEG CFW500, include these capabilities, and add other features, like encoder support and flux vector control mode which allows 100% torque at zero speed.
Variable Frequency Drives

Torque control: The other VFD operating mode

May 1, 2023
Torque control is necessary for many types of winding/unwinding applications to maintain proper product tension. General-purpose sensorless vector VFDs can now perform this function...
Courtesy of AutomationDirect
Figure 1: Modern PLCs have moved beyond basic control and now efficiently access all kinds of field data, which is useful for cloud computing purposes such as analytics. Designers need products and technologies enabling scalable and cooperative convergence of OT and IT.
Process Control & Automation

Balancing local automation with remote connectivity

Feb. 10, 2023
Industrial automation users seek the right combination of cloud-based management and remote connectivity, balanced with local real-time control capability.
Courtesy of AutomationDirect
Figure 1: Increasingly automated processes and distributed devices require more field-installed enclosures, and personnel in all production plant disciplines can benefit from understanding some control panel design basics.
Control Panels & Enclosures

Process control panel design basics

July 14, 2022
Control panel design is a detailed undertaking, and end users of all types will benefit by following certain steps.
Courtesy of AutomationDirect
Figure 1: Washdown-rated compact VFDs offered by AutomationDirect can provide all the necessary logic, process and motor control for an application, and many times eliminate the need for a separate control enclosure or electrical panel.
Variable Frequency Drives

Reducing complexity and cost with NEMA 4X VFDs

May 16, 2022
A locally mounted and washdown-rated VFD is often the best way to add advanced functionality and energy saving capabilities to industrial motor operation.
1302546439 ©Getty Images
Getty Images 1302546439
Process Control & Automation

Remote monitoring powered by cloud services

Oct. 21, 2021
Process automation systems achieve optimal remote monitoring performance and security by using specially developed routers and cloud computing services.
Courtesy of AutomationDirect
Figure 1: Increasingly automated processes and distributed devices require more field-mount enclosures, which must be able to withstand sanitary and hygienic operations including washdowns.
Process Control & Automation

Thinking inside and outside the box

July 28, 2021
Industrial electrical enclosures commonly protect what is inside the box, but for many hygienic and sanitary industries, external features are critical.
Figure 2: (Opposite) AutomationDirect VFDs include V/Hz control mode standard, which is good for many applications such as centrifugal pumps, fans and material conveyors. Images courtesy of AutomationDirect
Variable Frequency Drives

Choosing VFD control modes

June 29, 2020
Today’s variable frequency drives feature multiple control modes, each of which can be adjusted based on processing and equipment needs.
Figure 1: The small size and wide operating temperature range of some VFDs, like the models shown here from AutomationDirect, make it convenient to install them in almost any situation. All images courtesy of AutomationDirect
Variable Frequency Drives

Beyond process control with VFDs

May 26, 2020
Variable speed motor drives have evolved beyond basic motor control, becoming easier to use while delivering the improved performance, energy savings and IIoT capabilities needed...
A variety of process sensors are needed to monitor and control pressure, flow, level, speed and temperature in this solid fuel boiler. Graphic courtesy of Hurst Boiler and Welding Co. Inc.

Configuring analog devices to integrate with PLCs

Nov. 5, 2018
A variety of analog signals must be transmitted to a PLC for monitoring and control and then processed to ensure correct operation

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