Do end users benefit from system integrator certification?

End users do perceive benefits when system integrators receive CSIA certification, according to research on end users and interviews by Control Engineering. See graphic.

02/23/2011


End user demand grows for CSIA affiliation. See large version of this graph below. Source: Control EngineeringDo end users recognize the benefits of hiring a CSIA Certified Integrator? (Criteria for CSIA certification can help any automation and controls business.)  Bryan Downer, VP of sales at hygienic processing equipment manufacturer CSI, said he does: “Certification gives us a degree of assurance that the company really can do integration. A lot of people can build panels and write code, but they don’t understand how controls integrate with one another.”

Downer added, “Companies that have invested in their infrastructure to become certified fit a certain mold. They have capabilities that go beyond the root core, that add additional integration value.”

Dan Wesley, supervisor of the Electrical and Instrumentation Department at Professional Engineering Consultants Inc., agreed. His firm of consulting engineers once undertook a retrofit of a water treatment plant and hired a CSIA Certified Integrator to work on the instrumentation and controls.

“I’m glad we required a CSIA Certified Integrator for that project,” Wesley noted. “What we get sometimes is an electrical contractor that does their own instrumentation even though they don’t really know what they’re doing. When it doesn’t work, they don’t know what to do. Going up to the certification helped eliminate the problem of contractors being able to hook up equipment but not fully understanding instrumentation.”

However, Wesley recognized a downside to requiring a certified integrator because there are so few of them. “In a bid situation, it’s difficult to get qualified respondents. It limits the pool of available bidders too much, which is not good for competitive bidding. Contractors need to become more aware of certification.”

That sentiment was recently echoed in an online discussion among CSIA members. Few have seen a bid specification requiring an integrator to be certified, and most explain the significance of CSIA certification to their would-be clients themselves.

On the other hand, many clients learn to appreciate CSIA Certified Integrator proficiency once they learn the details of the CSIA certification audit. Tim Foster, former VP of engineering at Green Planet Farms, learned about CSIA certification from the CSIA Certified Integrator he’d hired for a soy protein isolate production project.

“I found out after we’d finished the selection process that both of my finalists were CSIA-certified,” Foster noted. “It seems that the same qualities that made them worthy of certification made them worthy of my short list. I just didn’t know it at the time.”

Now that he’s aware of the program, Foster said he’ll make CSIA certification a prerequisite for bidding on future projects.

“The certification process demonstrates that the integrator has a higher level of proficiency. They know how to do what you want them to do. CSIA Certified Integrators have a vision that goes beyond ‘can I make this machine do that?’ They have contacts and experience that broaden their ability to bring resources to bear from many different areas. If you don’t already have a preferred integrator, CSIA certification should be the minimum standard for choosing a new one,” Foster said.

- Vance VanDoren, PhD, PE, is Control Engineering consulting editor, at controleng(at)msn.com. www.controleng.com


End user demand grows for CSIA affiliation

End users can search the Automation Integrator Guide for system integrators affiliated with any of 127 professional organizations, including the four most popular shown here. Since 2008, CSIA has topped the list, accounting for as many as 18% of all searches when a professional affiliation was specified.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Improving flowmeter calibration; Selecting flowmeters for natural gas; Case study: Streamlining assembly systems using PC-based control; CLPM: Improving process efficiency, throughput
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me