CSIA members eye big buck market

According to a study by D. F. Blumberg Associates Inc., the market for U.S. industrial control equipment and systems service is expected to reach $99 billion in 2005. Considering that the market for new equipment and integration has been growing, but is tied to capital spending, which hasn’t grown much in the U.S. for the past few years, the Control and Information Systems Integrators Association (CSIA) can hardly be blamed for wanting to move into a new direction.

Joe Biehl, of Applied Automation Associates, Inc., Exton, Penn., says, “We moved three years ago to more tightly couple control systems with information systems in anticipation of the future model of manufacturing.” Biehl says that the direction manufacturing is moving is toward the “make to order model.” He continues, “Hand-in-hand with that move came the need for a more sophisticated and integrated line that is both horizontally and vertically integrated—a need that could not be met with existing staffs at the manufacturers.” In response to this opportunity, Biehl created APlus Service, a single point of contact and support, eliminating the need to manage multiple vendors.

ARC Advisory Services vice president, Bill Moore, speaking at the CSIA press conference at ISA 2004, reported, “Manufacturers today want more than the traditional ‘reactive’ service support. Today they are looking for firms that are skilled in predictive and preventive maintenance, and performance optimization techniques.”

According to CSIA executive director, Norm O’Leary, that means control system integrators. “CSIA will take the lead,” he said, “in providing the background, the information, and the rationale for our members to move forward into this increasingly important market.” O’Leary went on to note that the CSIA Registered Member companies are uniquely positioned to provide exactly the sort of service that Moore suggests process plants are looking for.

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