System Integrator Giants of 2013


Professional affiliations

The 2013 SI Giants are more involved in professional and trade organizations focusing on automation-related skills and industries that use automation. Majority of respondents belong to CSIA; RIA has the largest growth opportunity among the 2013 SI Giants.As the professional affiliations chart on shows, this year’s SI Giants have also demonstrated a significant increase in involvement with the various professional and trade organizations that focus on automation-related skills and industries that use automation. And like last year, the survey results show that SI Giants tend to join these organizations more readily than other automation system integrators do.

For example, in 2013 more than half of the SI Giants (57%) reported being members of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA), up from 43% in 2012. CSIA membership also grew among automation system integrators in general, but not nearly as much. This year, 18.5% of other integrators cited the CSIA as a professional affiliation, up from 17% last year.

It comes as no surprise that an association dedicated to control system integrators would have a significant following among both SI Giants and automation system integrators in general, but exactly why the CSIA should appeal so much more to larger firms is not altogether obvious. There was a time that the CSIA required a minimum annual revenue before a prospective member could join, but that requirement has been lifted. Perhaps smaller integrators still think of the CSIA as an organization just for the “big guys.”

Robotics vs. controls

The organization for robotic system integrators, the Robotics Industry Association (RIA), was cited by 3% of both SI Giants and other integrators. At the 2013 Automate Show, the vast majority of system integrators exhibiting were RIA members (the event was sponsored in part by the RIA), yet only one belonged to the CSIA. Control system integration and robotic system integration industries seem to have little overlap, even though both cover industrial automation.

This divide is also evident in engineering specialties performed by the 2013 SI Giants. Robotics (32%), vision systems (33%), and automated assemblies (33%) are the three least-common specialties performed, while automation and control engineering (95%), installation and start-up (93%), and HMI and operator interfaces (92%) round out the top three. Among automation system integrators in general, automation and programmable logic controller (PLC) skills were not so dominant (56% and 63%, respectively), but still well ahead of robotics and vision systems (32% and 30%, respectively).

Other professional organizations that gained popularity among the SI Giants included Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the Project Management Institute (PMI), and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Comparing the 2012 and 2013 SI Giants data, UL increased from 19% to 39%; PMI increased from 11% to 24%; and NSPE increased from 10% to 24%. The International Society of Automation (ISA)  remained in the top five as the third most-cited professional affiliation, with 34% in 2013 vs. 38% in 2012. Rounding out the top 10 affiliations were the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA, 25%), the Control Systems Society (CSS, 20%), the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE, 18%), the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE, 17%), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME, 17%).

Most of these professional/third-party organizations are dedicated to the practice of various technical disciplines, which makes sense considering what automation system integrators do for a living. The list of most-cited professional affiliations among other integrators was similar: ISA, IEEE, CSIA, UL, CSS, NFPA, ASME, NSPE, and PMI.

Industries served

Food and beverage, oil and gas, chemicals and petrochemicals, automotive, and water and wastewater are the top five industries for the 2013 SI Giants. SI Giants selected among 33 industries served. Courtesy: 2013 CFE Media SI GiantsISPE was the 2013 SI Giants’ only top 10 professional affiliation associated with a specific industry. It did not make the top 10 list for automation system integrators in general, but even for that group, ISPE was still the most popular of all professional organizations that focus on an industry rather than a technology. Ironically, pharmaceuticals as an industry was not as popular with the 2013 SI Giants or the other integrators listed in the AIG. Only 5% of the 2013 SI Giants serve the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry (see the chart on page 50), up 2% from 2012. Despite the industry’s increased popularity, pharmaceuticals still only accounted for half as much revenue as the most-served industry on the list: food and beverage (10%). The formerly most-served industry, oil and gas, dropped from 11% in 2012 to 8% in 2013. Rounding out the top five were chemicals and petrochemicals (6%), automotive (6%), and water/wastewater (6%), about the same as last year.

It is interesting to note that only one of these top five industries served, automotive, is discrete, and of the top 10, there’s only one more, material handling (4%). The remaining industries are process or hybrid industries: metals (4%), consumer products (4%), and processing (3%). Perhaps the simplest explanation is that the refineries, foundries, and processing plants of process industries generally operate on a much larger scale, with the exception of automotive plants of discrete industries, requiring the largest system integrators. 

Next page shows product experience and engineering specialties; see last page for full list of industries served.

Robert , PA, United States, 06/25/13 02:42 PM:

Very comprehensive survey of the CSI industry. At $1.2B+ I suspect that the CSI industry has more impact then most realize. And CSIA has an increasing impact on the market, with more changes on the horizon. Nice work, Vance and CFE Media.
Anonymous , 07/01/13 02:17 PM:

Congratulations to everyone for their initiative in producing an article provided an excellent content and technical details of the information presented in the Systems Integration subject addressed to all professionals in the process automation industry.
Allows a vision and very precise understanding of all this important segment

Best wishes to all editors of this respected publication
Don , , 07/12/13 10:41 AM:

I see these numbers and I see a lot of demand for training. That puts a smile on my face. :)
Israel , Brazil, 04/24/14 08:59 AM:

I think is important to analyze the enterprise management integration with supervisory systems because efficiency, productivity and quality production level are mostly related with this integration. This integration is insufficiently used to increase these parameters in the Brazil industries.
NELSON , IL, United States, 05/16/14 03:00 PM:


To become a system integrator, do you need to be part of a contractor firm (consultant or engineering firm)?
KISHORE , Non-US/Not Applicable, India, 05/30/14 12:52 AM:

Yes. You need to be a good Engineering firm
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...
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
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
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
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

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