The market for industrial automation is not a sleepy one. It was recently valued at just under 170 billion dollars worldwide, with predictions looking at that number to increase nearly twofold within the next few years. With such meteoric growth on the horizon, anyone not looking at how industrial automation can benefit their business is already behind the curve.
There’s one big problem: most relevant businesses, even if they’re aware of the importance of industrial automation, have no idea how to begin making it work for them. Challenges can come from all sides when beginning to automate. Some common issues include mapping out processes, staying compliant, avoiding downtime, and efficient employee training.
It can become overwhelming fast. You have to ask yourself: am I making optimal use of the automation tools available to me or are there better ways to increase ROI and efficiency? Could I benefit from the expertise of an industrial automation consultant?
What is an Industrial Automation Consultant?
An industrial automation consultant is an individual that works directly with you to help your business set up, integrate, and manage your industrial automation services.
Exactly what is offered will depend on the scope of your needs, the company you’re partnering with, and the consultant themselves. However, you should expect most to do the following:
- Work with you to document your processes so that they can be used to develop automation workflows in the future
- Get you prototypes for proof of concepts as needed
- Set up reporting systems that can track what’s going on, making it easier to see which workflows are working optimally and which could use adjustment
- Provide access to regular, reliable expert advice gleaned from years solving problems similar to your own
- Make sure you’re aware of other beneficial automations you may not have been previously aware of
- Support you in the way you need, from global remote diagnostics to good old-fashioned preventative maintenance
4 Benefits of Hiring Industrial Automation Consultants
The surface-level benefits of hiring a consultant are plenty: efficiency, speed, and expertise to name a few. While important, these benefits aren’t the only difference the right consultant can make.
Here are five more in-depth bonuses that come from a partnership with an industrial automation consultant:
- They’ll help you spot early risks before they become problems later. Automating your business, whatever the industry, can be an intimidating prospect. It involves looking very closely at how you’ve been doing things so that you can document those processes and automate them for the future with the help of technology and strategy. The right industrial automation consultant will be able to help keep things running smoothly if they’ve been trained in agile risk management. This type of risk assessment training allows them to see through complicated processes to the potential pitfalls within. That way they can point out small problems so that they’re fixed before they become big ones.
- They’ll keep communication flowing so you don’t have to. If you’re in charge of helping keep an industrial business running, you’ve got enough on your plate. Great industrial automation consultants can take unnecessary stress off your shoulders by taking charge when it comes to keeping dialogues open and making decisions that support common goals to mitigate risk throughout your timeline.
- They can take the effort out of explaining things to the boss. One of the most valuable skills an industrial automation consultant can have is their ability to understand and break down even the most complex of processes into easy to understand steps. This helps when you’re trying to sell automation expansion or adoption to someone in your company who has purchasing power but not as technical a mindset.
- They already have the base knowledge to help you choose exactly which solutions you’ll need for optimal integration. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the automation solutions that work for your business will be unique to you. Maybe you’ll end up using robots, or maybe it’ll be PLCs, sensors, testing systems, conveyors, adhesives, or another technology altogether. The right consultant will walk you through the pros and cons of integrating each solution in direct relation to your company and its needs.
Finding the Right Industrial Automation Consultants?
Different consultants may be able to bring different things to the table. The easiest way to guarantee that you’re picking the right one for your industrial company and its unique needs is… by talking to them.
Ask them to back up their claims. When asked, the industrial automation consultant you’re considering working with should be able to provide you with references or sample metrics. Look for ones that can show you examples of how they’ve helped increase sales and efficiency for other clients. This will show you that not only do they have and value hard data, but that they’re comfortable enough with their expertise to explain to you how it works.
Are you interested in learning more about what working with an industrial automation consultant can do for your company? Contact the trusted industrial automation consultants at Summit Engineered Automation today. Let your next project become our next project as we work together to develop a front-to-back automation solution curated just for you.