Market Report -Industrial Automation & Control System Integrators

Market Studies
1394 Market and Technology Study
Industrial Automation & Control System Integrators

Published: 2000

Table Of Contents

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Factory automation is continually reducing costs and making manufactured goods ever more economical. But, it has also resulted in downsizing. Only about 14% of the U.S. workforce is now employed in manufacturing, down from almost double that in 1950. Engineering departments have been cut to the bone.

Manufacturers have found that hiring a system integrator when needed is less costly than maintaining a large staff that is often underutilized. Now almost 4,000 strong, these system integrators are making a major impact and setting new trends. Planners and implementers of factory automation need to know what these trends are.

An in-depth survey of 227 system integrator (SI) executives in the factory automation control arena has been conducted to determine the trends emerging. The major areas covered by the in-depth survey of 9 product categories include:

  • Who has specification authority with which control products and how is that authority changing?
  • Who are the preferred vendors for the different products?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of existing system integrator partnership programs?
  • Through which channels are different control products purchased by system integrators?
  • How does the system integrator expect his purchases to change in the next five years?
  • What future needs does the system integrator see in each of the 9 product categories?
  • What does the future hold for open architecture, PC based control, and the Internet (www)?
  • What types of applications are most profitable and which are least?
  • What does the system integrator charge and pay for different tasks?
  • How is the business promoted and what industries are targeted?

The nine product categories studied are: 1) Main Controller (PLC, CNC, PC Based, DCS), etc., 2) HMI/MMI, 3) Software (Soft Logic, Soft CNC, etc.), 4) Communications (Ethernet, Fieldbus, DeviceNet, etc.), 5) Panel Components (starters, fusing, etc.), 6) Drives/Motors, 7) Enterprise Software (SCADA, MES, MRP, etc.), 8) Sensors (flow meters, feedback, limit switches), and 9) Actuators (valves, pumps, solenoids, heaters, etc.).

Respondent Profile

The SI respondents do 57% discrete and 43% process type applications. The top 5 industries they serve are: Food & Beverage (57%), Material Handling (54%), Chemical (49%), Water & Waste Water (46%), and Utilities (46%). Owner/president/G.M. are the titles of 46% of respondents while 38% manage either engineering or sales/marketing . 45% employ over 25 people and 53% do $2.5 million or more. 75% have been in business for 20 years or less.

Presentation of Results

The report starts with an executive summary for the person who wants a concise overview. The body of the report explains the methodology of the study and presents the analysis and conclusions of the survey data. The total report is over 200 pages with 109 color charts and graphs. Appendixes are attached which list all the comments and the primary data tables.


For each major question asked, cross-correlations were done to see if answers varied based on size and discrete/process orientation. Significant variations are pointed out.

There is a 90% confidence level that, on a dichotomous question in the worst case, the survey data will be in a ± range of 5.5%.

Table of Contents

  • Forward
    • Summary
    • Methodology
    • Product Categories
    • Summary
    • Executive Summary

Study Methodology

  • Chapter A Specification Authority
  • Chapter B Vendor Preferences
  • Chapter C Purchasing Methods
  • Chapter D Future Product Needs
  • Chapter E General Topics
  • Chapter F Integrator Demographics

Chapter A

  • A. Purchasing Methods
  • A1. Current Specification Authority
  • A1.1. Specification Authority Related to Organization Size
    • A1.1.1. Main Controller
    • A1.1.2. HMI/MMI
    • A1.1.3. Other Software
    • A1.1.4. Communications
    • A1.1.5. Panel Components
    • A1.1.6. Drives/Motors
    • A1.1.7. Enterprise Software
    • A1.1.8. Sensors
    • A1.1.9. Actuators
  • A1.2. Specification Authority by Discrete/Process
    • A1.2.1. Main Controller by Discrete/Process
    • A1.2.2. HMI/MMI by Discrete/Process
    • A1.2.3. Other Software
    • A1.2.4. Communications by Discrete/Process
    • A1.2.5. Panel Components, Drives/Motors, And Enterprise Software by Discrete/Process
    • A1.2.6. Sensors by Discrete/Process
    • A1.2.7. Actuators by Discrete/Process
  • A2. Changes in Specification Authority
  • A2.1. Change in Specification Authority Related To Organization Size
    • A2.1.1. Main Controller
    • A2.1.2. HMI/MMI
    • A2.1.3. Communications
    • A2.1.4. Panel Components
    • A2.1.5. Drives/Motors
    • A2.1.6. Enterprise Software
    • A2.1.7. Sensors
    • A2.1.8. Actuators
    • A2.2. Change in Specification Authority by Discrete/Process

Chapter B

  • B. Vendor Preferences
  • B1. Current Product Preferences
    • B1.1. Main Controller
    • B1.2. HMI/MMI
    • B1.3 Communications
    • B1.4. Panel Components
    • B1.5. Drives/Motors
    • B1.6. Enterprise Software
    • B1.7. Sensors
    • B1.8. Actuators
  • B2. Strengths and Weaknesses of Vendor’s System Integrator Programs
  • B3. The Ideal System Integrator Partnership Program

Chapter C

  • C. Purchasing Methods
  • C1. Current and Preferred Sales Channel
    • C1.1. Current and Preferred Sales Channel by System Integrator Size
    • C1.1.1. Main Controller
    • C1.1.2. HMI/MMI
    • C1.1.3. Other Software
    • C1.1.4. Communications
    • C1.1.5. Panel Components
    • C1.1.6. Drives/Motors
    • C1.1.7. Enterprise Software
    • C1.1.8. Sensors
    • C1.1.9. Actuators
  • C1.2. Current and Preferred Sales Channel by Discrete/Process
    • C1.2.1. HMI/MMI
    • C1.2.2. Other Software
    • C1.2.3. Communications
    • C1.2.4. Enterprise Software
    • C1.2.5. Sensors
    • C1.2.6. Actuators
  • C2. Current and Future Dollar Volume Purchases
  • C2.1 Current and Future Dollar Volume Purchasesby SI Size
    • C2.1.1. Main Controller
    • C2.1.2. HMI/MMI
    • C2.1.3. Other Software
    • C2.1.4. Communications
    • C2.1.5. Panel Components
    • C2.1.6. Drives/Motors
    • C2.1.7. Enterprise Software
    • C2.1.8. Sensors
    • C2.1.9. Actuators
  • C3. Products Purchased by the SI
  • C3.1 Products Purchased by the SI by SI Size
    • C3.1.1. Main Controller
    • C3.1.2. HMI/MMI
    • C3.1.3. Other Software
    • C3.1.4. Communications
    • C3.1.5. Panel Components
    • C3.1.6. Drives/Motors
    • C3.1.7. Enterprise Software
    • C3.1.8. Sensors
    • C3.1.9. Actuators
  • C3.2 Products Purchased by the SI by Discrete/Process

Chapter D

  • D. Future Product Needs
  • D1. Significant Product Needs
    • D1.1. Main Controller
    • D1.2 HMI/MMI
    • D1.3 Other Software
    • D1.5 Panel Components
    • D1.6 Drives/Motors
    • D1.7 Enterprise Software
    • D1.8 Sensors
    • D1.9 Actuators
  • D2. Additional Unmet Needs

Chapter E

  • E. General Topics
    • E1. The Internet
    • E1.1. The Internet by System Integrator Size
    • E1.2. The Internet by Discrete/Process SI
    • E1.3 The Internet Impact on the SI
  • E2. Open Architecture
    • E2.1 Open Architecture Questions by System Integrator Size
    • E2.2 Open Architecture Questions by Discrete/Process SI
    • E2.3 Open Architecture Impact on SI
  • E3. PC Based Control
    • E3.1 PC Based Control by Integrator Size
    • E3.2 PC Based Control by Discrete/Process
    • E3.3 PC Based Control Impact on SI

Chapter F

  • F. Integrator Demographics
  • F1. Discrete versus Process
  • F2. Job Profitability
    • F2.1. Job Profitability by Integrator Size
    • F2.2 Job Profitability by Discrete/Process SI
  • F3. Future Outlook for Application Activities
  • F4. Promotional Tools
    • F4.1. Promotional Tools by SI Size
    • F4.2. Promotional Tools by Discrete/Process
  • F5. Average Hourly Rate
    • F5.1 Average Hourly Rate by SI Size
  • F6. Average Annualized Compensation
    • F6.1 Average Annualized Compensation by SI Size
  • F7. Industries Integrators do Business In
  • F8. Primary Job Function
  • F9. People Employed
  • F10. Estimated 1999 Revenues
  • F11. How Many Years has Your Business been Involved With System Integration Work?

Appendix A Sample Size Calculation

  • Survey Questionnaire

Appendix B Summary of Survey Data

Appendix C Listing of Open Ended Survey Responses

Appendix D Glossary