Those responsible for manufacturing plants and process facilities are ramping up efforts to boost productivity and protect against catastrophic computer failures that can interrupt operations, according to a report by the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA).
 
“CSIA members are forecasting a busy year for automation projects among industry clients,” says Piercarlo “PC” Romano, newly elected CSIA board chairman, in a prepared statement. “More and more CSIA members are showing plant managers, directors of operation, and others that control system integrators are experts at managing risk and offering proven solutions to their production challenges.” Romano is president of Avid Solutions Inc., a CSIA Certified system integrator based in Winston-Salem, N.C.

According to CSIA, topics at the forefront of industry discussion are cyber security, globalization and trends in information technology.

“The threat of cyber-attacks is real,” explains Bob Lowe, executive director of CSIA. “Our integrator members know their responsibilities and are taking this threat seriously by becoming educated, making it part of their project planning and implementing CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks to reduce risk for their clients.”

Lowe says CSIA is looking at emerging economies such as Latin America to determine how integrator members play a role in developing industrial automation and in demonstrating the value of CSIA Certification worldwide.     
 
“We are part of a global industry and CSIA’s vision is for industries everywhere to have access to low-risk, safe and successful applications of automation technology,” continues Lowe. “A global strategy strengthens CSIA’s partnership with industry suppliers, helps us access global networks, and leads our integrators to the clients requesting their expertise.”

In addition, CSIA members are tracking the top IT-based technologies in control system integration, such as cloud computing, virtualization, and bring your own device (BYOD). These trends are already changing the way integrators work with their clients and are expected to have significant impact on the future of the automation marketplace.