Where to Find an Automation Expert and Get Their Help

Industrial automation ranges from tabletop robots to machines using embedded sensors to communicate with each other. It's a diverse field and your options in what to use will continue to increase. More robots are built to multitask with a variety of grippers and the use of machine vision is becoming more widespread.

Knowing the Big Picture of what systems to use or to know specifics like what types of camera and cable hook-ups work best can get confusing. Where do you turn for trusted advice? '

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) offers opportunities to work with leading groups like the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). One of the many benefits to RIA is getting answers to your questions from system integrators who have met the highest industry standards to become RIA Certified Integrators. This is crucial because system integrators are valued for their knowledge, opinions, and the ability to help you plan for today and for years down the road.

Let's look at what this means for your company.

Automation Choices

The components used in automated manufacturing should work well together. That's obvious, but getting the tools in place requires patience and planning. Start-up companies may be in the market for a completely new system. Established manufacturers, though, may want to use a new type of equipment with a legacy system.

That could mean using a robotic cell and still using manual equipment. It might mean replacing a conventional robot with a collaborative robot. As noted in the article Calculating Your ROI for Robotic Automation: Cost vs. Cash Flow, collaborative robots may cost less yet are excellent tools for the worker. They handle lighter payloads and cycle times aren't as fast as a “traditional” industrial robot..

Getting the most from your automation isn't just something you do on your own. Qualified system integrators will help you lay out a plan and then show you what you need for today and how automation could change and grow your operations. Read about the benefits in the article How SMEs in the Know Win with Automation.

Choosing Integrators

RIA Certified Integrators adhere to industry best practices. Some specialize in industries like packaging such as Schneider Packaging or aerospace like Boeing Research and Technology. Other integrators offer a more rounded approach across industries. The certification gives factory owners and other automation end users a baseline to know an integrator's capabilities and a way to evaluate their work.

Getting certified isn't easy. As stated on RIA's Integrator Certification webpage, integrators must have an on-site audit, undergo safety training, and get key personnel tested. The certification is good for two years and then the integrators have to get re-certified.

The certification also helps integrators show potential customers just how seriously they take their work. If an end user is going to invest time and money to work with new technology, it helps to know that an integrator has made a commitment to achieve a high level of expertise.

RIA itself, as an association, is the only trade group in North America dedicated to serving the robotics industry. Articles, webinars, and hands-on trainings help engineers, managers, and executives know how to make use of automation and understand the costs and returns.

Whether you have Big Picture needs or questions about specific components, get solutions and answers through A3.