Motion Controls Robotics Announces Successful Robotic Industries Association (RIA) Certification
In April 2012, the owners and employees of Motion Controls Robotics, Inc. (MCRI) were pleased to learn that MCRI was selected as part of the very first group of robotics integrators to earn the designation of “Certified Robot Integrator” from Robotic Industries Association (RIA).
Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s largest trade group representing over 265 companies, announced the launch of their Certified Robot Integrator Program in 2011. The program’s purpose is to help the industry develop more successful robot applications. Based on input from focus groups with leading integrators and end users, RIA determined that a certification program would be a useful way for users to develop a baseline for the evaluation of robot integrators, and a great way for system integrators to benchmark themselves against best industry practices.
After more than two years of touring the country to get input from integrators, users, robot suppliers and other interested parties, the program was officially launched in January 2012 and MCRI became the first Certified Robot Integrator in April 2012.
The certification program is patterned after those in diverse industries such as IT, Health Care and Automotive to promote industry best practices. Certification in any industry is a mark of professionalism. The RIA certification program is expected to drive these initiatives for robot integrators that focus on delivering best value solutions, complete service and support for end user customers.
“At times it can be difficult to convey to a new customer the depth of experience and qualifications of our organization,” says Scott Lang, President of Motion Controls Robotics, Inc. “Achieving the Robotics Industries Association demonstrates our expertise and allows our customers to make a more informed supplier selection decision based on the findings of an independent third party. We are especially pleased to learn we are among the first group of robotic integrator to earn this certification. Our Certified Integrator designation provides another reason why Motion Controls Robotics, Inc. is the right choice when selecting a robotic integration partner.”
Robot users and system integrators helped specify the requirements for the certification of qualified member and non-member robot integrators and their personnel. In keeping with the longstanding RIA tradition of promoting and supporting the use of robotics since 1974, the association listened to and acted upon the suggestions brought forward by integrator members and robot users.
There are three basic parts to the certification exam and audit, which is held at the robot integrator’s facility:
- Hands-On section
- Expert Response Section: (Participant industry tenure & biography)
- On-site audit of business infrastructure per completed “Self Score Card”. Supporting evidence is gathered before any certification date is scheduled.
To earn Certified Robotic Technologist and or Certified Expert Robotic Technologist status, the candidate(s) must pass an open resource hands-on exam on general robotics tasks and answer personal work and education experience related to the industry. During this site visit, the RIA audits the integrator from a business perspective on operation, personnel resources and procedures based on information provided by the integrator on the “Self Score Card”.
The entire certification process demonstrates the requisite level of technical knowledge required to execute robotic system projects and tasks in a safe, efficient, and economical manner. It also signifies that the company as well as each certified technician has the ability to work with various codes and standards.
“The RIA certification program is a perfect opportunity for certified robot integrators to differentiate themselves,” says Armando Barry, certification consultant to the RIA. “Not only will certified integrators receive plaques, logos, and other tools that can be proudly displayed on letterhead, at trade shows, in ads, on product literature, and in other promotional efforts, but it also drives the opportunity for certified integrators to improve their performance,” Barry explained. “Achieving the RIA certification will reflect a significant commitment by robot integrators that elevates their technical expertise in applying robots in a consistent manner,” Barry concluded.
“The program is obviously going to be a big help to end users just getting their automation feet wet, but I believe it will be of great benefit to current end users as well,” said Curtis Richardson, Associate Technical Fellow, Robotics of Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. (Wichita, Kansas), an RIA User member. “It is a convenient tool to help us identify established integrators in the industry, and it enables us to see at a glance the integrators who have met some basic but very critical criteria established by their professional peers.”
RIA was also responsible for developing the American National Robot Safety Standard (R15.06). Safety training is a key element of the new certification program.