Just because an automation engineering company has branded software, it is not enough to trust them. Automation integrators need to be carefully vetted to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the system but also about protecting your valuable data. If you have professional needs, the integrator should be able to accommodate. Want to know how to evaluate automation engineering companies so you choose the right one?
Ask the following questions.
Does The Integrator Have Experience With Your Industry?
When you are bringing in an engineering team, you want to make sure the team understands the needs of the industry. Ask to see their resumes. Look at their past projects, photographs of the setup, and review the details of their past work. You should also ask questions about how they will apply their knowledge to coming up with an adequate solution to your problems.
Does The Scope of the Project Match the Integrator’s Expertise?
Next, you need to consider if your project scope is clear. Ensure that the details of the project have been clarified and that you know what you need done. You don’t need to have the plan fully fleshed out, because the automation engineering company can help you develop the plan. However, you should have the major systems to be automated outlined.
If you need help figuring out the scope of the project, there is no harm in calling an automation integrator for a consultation. A decent automation engineering company will be able to point you towards specific experts and give you some insight on how to set up the project scope.
Can The Integrator Conform to Existing Automation Systems?
Perhaps you are operating a large processing plant or have multiple locations. Some automation integrators are more comfortable working within an existing program or documentation style than others. Some companies may even refuse to work with you if you have existing automation systems in place.
Keep in mind that the best integrator is going to be willing to work within the existing constraints instead of changing everything out. Sure, the integrator may have a proposal that promises to be 100% functional by itself, but that is pointless if their system cannot operate with the ones you already have. Worse, if the processes of the new system clash with other elements of your processing plant, it could be difficult to sustain.
Choose an automation engineering company who is flexible and well-versed in a number of systems instead of a select few.
Will The Candidate Train and Support Your Team After Integration?
So you get a new system installed and integrated into your plant. Now what? At this point, many automation engineering companies back away and leave you hundreds of questions but no answer. They may also charge you for troubleshooting.
The best automation engineering companies provide training for your employees before giving you complete control of the new system. Since automation inevitably leads to questions, your integrator should have someone who sticks around to ensure your team can run everything on their own.
For example, EZSoft offers complete training that goes beyond a PowerPoint presentation. Your team will learn how to safely operate the automated units with hands-on tasks. Furthermore, maintenance technicians, managers, and supervisors all receive specialized training to handle the system should it go out of control, for instance.
Will The Integrator Test The System Prior to Delivery?
When vetting candidates, ask if they are willing to test the automation system before implementing it. The automation engineering company should have somewhere to test their system to guarantee that everything will function as predicted. Ask if they are able to simulate the system before installation. There should also be some documentation provided for troubleshooting.
Can The New System Integrate With Your Plant Network?
Want to gain more control over your processing plant and all the functions that go on within it? You are going to want an integrator who can link those industrial automation controls with your plant’s network. That way, you will be able to monitor inventory or material levels, program automating ordering, receive real-time data reports, and even track offsite data.
How do you get this? By choosing an automation engineering company that is also well-versed in IT and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Hire an automation engineering company who understands IT compliance and restrictions for your industry. They should be able to design a system that scales alongside your plant network, so you don’t have to worry about expensive upgrades in the future.
Trusted Industrial Automation Companies Near Me
If you are looking to implement process control systems in your plant, now is the time to start searching for the ideal automation engineering company. By bringing an integrator on board, they can guide you through the entire process of designing the control systems, as well as successful implementation and use.
Now that you know how to vet candidates, consider EZSoft. As a leader in PCS, MES, and IT since 1999, our team promises to deliver cutting edge solutions. Curious to learn more about our services? Call EZSoft today at (484) 568-5040.