For manufacturers seeking to automate, there are many questions to ask to ensure your desired automation is a success. One of those questions is whether you should partner with an automation integrator or a company that provides fully custom automation solutions.
To answer this question, you must first learn what these entities are and how they can help your business.
What Are Industrial Automation Integrators?
Automation integrators are companies that use off-the-shelf machinery and equipment to achieve automation results. Typically, automation integrators will have individual specialties of expertise. They will likely have experience using specific systems, machines, and brands.
By partnering with an effective automation integrator, you can efficiently adopt automation technologies that use off-the-shelf machinery made for many end-users with similar production challenges.
For example, an automation integrator in the beverage industry might have specific expertise in specifying and installing bottling equipment. Or an automation integrator in the packaging industry might be focused on boxing and taping equipment.
If the integrator has broad automation expertise, they can use and integrate automation hardware and software from various suppliers and tie the automation systems to higher-level customer software.
Unlike custom automation suppliers, automation system integrators are responsible for combining existing devices and machines into an integrated and efficient system. Think of them as project managers, but instead of managing people, they manage machines and bring them together, creating a “team” of integrated equipment.
Overall, an automation system integrator may be for you if your business requires equipment or processes that are industry-wide and that can be achieved using various pieces of for-purchase machinery.
What Are Custom Automation Providers?
Custom Automation Providers are solutions providers who create one-of-a-kind automation solutions. While these solutions often use off-the-shelf automation components (e.g., robots, motors, conveyors, and other automation components), they are designed specifically for the end user’s unique requirements.
Usually, a custom automation solution is designed from the ground up, starting with a “clean sheet of paper approach.” This ensures that the entire project delivers a turnkey solution that maximizes production efficiency for each customer.
One of the main benefits of hiring an effective custom automation solutions provider is that it eliminates finger-pointing between vendors. The custom automation provider should accept responsibility for the entire system’s design, build, and implementation. They should effectively partner with their customers, adding value to their creations that help the customer’s bottom line in a broad sense.
Effective custom automation providers are knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of automation equipment: mechanical, electrical, pneumatics, hydraulics, and more.
Ideally, they’ll be very broad with their own in-house capabilities, too. The most efficient companies do their own design, build, and installation. They’ll know whether it makes sense to use a combination of existing industry equipment or whether they need to start from scratch.
Ultimately, the top custom automation solutions providers are experts with broad manufacturing knowledge in various industries. They can assess an existing manufacturing process and determine the best means of automation for each project.
Custom Technologies is a full-spectrum custom automation solutions provider. For over 25 years, we’ve crafted effective automation solutions for a vast range of industries.
Unlike most automation companies, we provide a full spectrum of manufacturing services in-house and help other companies automate. So, we know firsthand how vital it is for an automation solution to deliver what is promised and run reliably and efficiently.
Ultimately, our in-house manufacturing gives us a tremendous breadth of capabilities for automation.
We offer services such as:
- Engineering and CAD design
- In-house machining, molding, fabricating, and assembly
- PLC programming (we write our own machinery software)
- Building, testing, and installing every one of our custom automation systems by using our in-house team
Are you in need of an automation partner or a turnkey manufacturer? Contact us today with any inquiries you have about our services.