Training and certifications help system integrators succeed

A system integrator takes advantage of training and certification programs demonstrate credibility while accessing continual learning and boosting online visibility for increased customer acquisition.

By Robert Huschka December 1, 2022
Courtesy: Association for Advancing Automation (A3)


Learning Objectives

  • Training and certification programs help system integrators gain credibility while accessing continual learning and boosting online visibility for increased customer acquisition.
  • System integrators can build connections with manufacturers and automation companies through the training programs.
  • The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) offers programs for system integrators in the fields of robotics, machine vision and motion control.

Workforce development insights

  • System integrators looking to stay up to date should focus on training and certifications to enhance their knowledge base and credibility.
  • Individual robot and automation vendors can offer training on their specific products, but industry associations can go deeper with an emphasis on multiple technologies.

With the increasing number of robotics and automation system integrators in business today, standing out is critical to success. Being up-to-date on the latest technologies and best practices, and having the certification to back it up, distinguishes integrators not only for their high level of skill and experience, but for having met the exacting requirements a certification process requires.
If a manufacturer is looking for a high quality robotic/automation solution, they want to partner with a quality system integrator – one that understands their business and their needs as well as they understand the robotics and automation business. That way, they can acquire a system that performs optimally for their operation, now and in the future as their needs change. System integrators set operations up for future success and allow for growth; perfect for large corporations, and for small- to medium-size businesses that are adopting automation, too.

When a system integrator takes advantage of training and certification programs offered in the robotics and automation industry, the integrator and its employees demonstrate credibility while accessing continual learning and boosting online visibility for increased customer acquisition.

How to get training and relevant certifications? Industry associations are an option

Individual robot and automation vendors typically offer training on their specific products, but industry associations can offer more extensive training that will cover multiple technologies. Not only do they have offer webinars and online collateral with “how to’s” and other best practices, often in partnership with vendor companies, but the associations hold various conferences that bring in industry experts from around the world to teach the latest about specific technologies as well as the latest and most innovative strategies that help system integrators offer the best solutions to customers.

Conferences such as Automate, the International Robotic Safety Conference, the AI and Smart Automation Conference, and the AMR & Logistics Conference offer these kinds of opportunities. In conjunction with Automate, for example, the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) offers integrators education classes to complement= certifications programs such as:

Certified Robot Integrator (CRI) Program

The CRI program, established in 2012, helps engineers, managers and executives assess the capabilities of accredited integrators. It offers insights to help companies pre-determine the best integrator for them based on a wide range of parameters such as skills, knowledge, experience, commitment and even financial solvency.

If the integrator has been certified, companies have the peace of mind of knowing that integrators who have successfully completed the program possess the capabilities at a very high level to deliver robotic products, systems and services that are safe, reliable and of good quality. This qualification means they have completed a rigorous organization/infrastructure compliance program, examining a number of criteria.

For example, a full site audit will examine capacity, processes, team, leadership and financial solvency. This could answer many of the questions outlined in this guide. The integrator also will have undertaken safety risk assessments and hands-on testing of key personnel. The CRI qualification verifies much of what companies need to know to help identify which integrators meet their pre-qualification criteria.

Certified Vision System Integrator (CVSI) Program

Vision system integrators certified through the CVSI program are acknowledged throughout the industry as an elite group of accomplished, highly skilled and trusted professionals. A3 also offers a Certified Vision Professional (CVP) for individuals working in the vision and imaging industry who wish to enhance their knowledge and professional status.

Certified Motion Control Professional (CMCP)

A3 offers the fundamental knowledge that benefits everyone working with motion control, motors and automation technologies. The program is designed to ensure professionals have the knowledge they need to advance their careers and benefit their businesses. CMCP’s are an elite group of system integrators, machine builders, manufacturers, end-users and others recognized in the industry for their professional knowledge and expertise.

A3 also offers training in on global robot standards and collaborative robot applications. Not only should you be doing any training possible, but your client should also expect you to offer that training to their own people as well. Offer comprehensive onsite training for end-users, including servicing, maintenance, sourcing supplies and parts, as well as available contingency plans should something go wrong.

Training and certification build trust and business success

System integrators can build trust with training and certification. When evaluating any prospective integrator, companies will likely examine the culture, people and internal processes of the organization. Certifications can demonstrate a genuine passion for excellence, and a commitment to meeting a customer’s needs and going the extra mile to deliver the best solutions for their business.

This trust and recognition are what Lincoln Electric expected when it signed up for the CRI program. “Our experience and capabilities in robotic programming will be further recognized through this certification,” said Justin Percio, business manager, welding automation systems, Lincoln Electric. “It demonstrates our continuing commitment with providing customers arc welding and cutting solutions for a completely automated system.”

System integrator L2F had similar expectations. Derek Pietz, the company’s CTO and co-founder, said, “The certification process helped validate our business systems and continuous improvement processes. We always strive to disrupt the market with our emphasis on agile development, and it’s refreshing to be recognized for our capabilities and design philosophy.”

Bill Yeck, the general manager of JR Automation, felt the “investment in this testing process is well worth the value it will provide to our customers. The testing highlighted our ISO9001:2008 procedures; which we feel will ensure future success of our company. JR Automation believes this certification will help companies identify sources for automated/robotic equipment as well as supporting customers with their service needs.”

System integrators who focus on training as well as earning certifications by third-party entities such as A3 are recognized as accomplished, trustworthy professionals. They leverage certification to enhance competitiveness, winning major integration contracts the untrained and uncertified miss out on.

Robert Huschka, VP, of education strategies, Association for Advancing Automation (A3). A3 is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.


Keywords: system integration, automation, certifications


How have certifications and standards advanced your company goals?

Original content can be found at Control Engineering.

Author Bio: Robert Huschka, VP, of education strategies, Association for Advancing Automation (A3).