RIA Membership Committee Shapes New Association Activities
RIA’s Membership Committee, chaired by Joe Gemma of Staubli Robotics, convenes in Ann Arbor on July 28, 2010, to plan membership benefits for today’s members. In years past, the Membership Committee has created a new Integrator category, mandated special emphasis on the educator category, and advocates for recognition of RIA’s Platinum Suppliers and Integrators on the pages of Robotics Online’s “Who’s Who” section.
“The ‘Who’s Who’ list is a discrete exercise to distinguish RIA members that are so passionate about the industry they invest in the highest level of membership,” said Brian Huse, RIA staff liaison to the Membership Committee. “There are no lightweights here. You have to be committed to the industry to belong to the Platinum level.”
RIA has enlisted these companies to represent the Association in a positive way which is why they have their own landing page, explained Huse. They have been featured in full-page ads in Assembly magazine, and links from the Assembly website go straight to the Who’s Who page on Robotics Online (instead of the home page).
There is another group of members who deserve praise at any membership level. At more than 150 strong, volunteers from a cross section of RIA members constitute an “Ask the Experts” panel on Robotics Online. The Membership Committee contributed greatly to the development of this free service, and volunteers report it has led to new customers and can reveal unmet needs.
“ATI Industrial Automation (Apex, North Carolina) is closely allied with RIA. Ask the Experts gives us insight to what is happening in the robotics industry,” said Catherine Morris, Senior Account Manager at ATI. “If companies are investing in robotics, those companies may need peripheral products like ATI manufactures as well.”
Catherine is one of the veterans on the Membership Committee and served as Chairwoman from 2007 to 2009.
“The Membership Committee helps RIA with such class and enthusiasm,” said Huse. “They volunteer through thick and thin. They contribute time and talent at the highest level. We can’t thank them enough.”
While it may be difficult to express gratitude to all who deserve it, in a gesture of appreciation to companies that make and create automation systems, integrators get the entire front of RIA’s new biennial show, Automate 2011 (McCormic Place, March 21-24, collocated with ProMat). In fact, space is free to qualified integrators.
“The show has been almost literally turned on its head with the integrators up front and the big robot booths in back,” said Huse. “Visitors can go to the best integrators first to discover ‘if a robot can do that’ when they attend Automate 2011.”
With projections for 30,000 participants in ProMat and 5,000 in Automate this may be RIA’s best show in recent memory. “If anything,” said Huse, “we are concerned that exhibitors will be overwhelmed by the combined event and we urge them to add more staff than usual.”
Integrators remain the focus of Committee priorities. They are on the front lines of automation projects where innovation spurs ever more productive robot solutions. Watch for more developments regarding integrators after the July 28, 2010, RIA Membership Committee meeting. Or call RIA at 734/994-6088 for immediate help.