What is an Automation Integrator, and What Benefits Can It Provide?

Automation Integrator

The heartbeat of progress is automation in every business these days. Automation, with its ability to reduce errors and enhance productivity, has become the foundation of modern industrial practices. Yet, as you uncover the complexities of automation, you may encounter a web of technologies, systems, and integration challenges.

This is where automation integrators emerge as indispensable architects of streamlined processes. They possess a unique skill set, enabling them to solve the problems associated with automation integration with finesse. But what precisely is their role?

These are just a couple of the questions this article will address, providing you with a thorough understanding of automation integrators and their benefits.

Automation Integrator

What is an Automation Integrator?

Automation integrators are professionals or companies that specialize in planning, engineering, and managing system projects related to automation in various industries. They are also known as systems integrators, automation systems integrators, or industrial automation systems integrators.

Their primary focus is on implementing automated solutions to enhance operational efficiency, streamline processes, and improve overall productivity. These integrators are crucial in bridging the gap between material handling equipment and advanced automated systems within facilities such as distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing plants.

Industrial automation systems integrators handle a broad spectrum of tasks, from designing and engineering automation solutions to overseeing the implementation and maintenance of these systems. They work closely with clients to understand their specific operational needs, facility limitations, budget constraints, and goals.

The Evolution of Automation Integrators

Automation integrators have a rich history rooted in the evolving needs of the industry. Initially acting as intermediaries for the sales and installation of material handling equipment, their role has transformed with the growing chasm between traditional equipment and the surging demand for automated systems. As the industry shifted towards highly automated distribution centers, integrators shifted to focus on engineering layouts for these innovative solutions.

Types of Automation Systems Integration

Automation Integrator

Achieving optimal system integration involves employing various methods, each tailored to specific requirements. Some notable approaches include:

1. SCADA Integration

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems integration involves incorporating software with Web Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs). This allows for the creation of user interfaces interacting with real-time server data, making applications accessible on any internet-connected device.

2. Automation Components

Customizable components within control panels play a pivotal role in automating machine-level tasks enhancing overall operational efficiency. This includes tasks such as motor speed control, start/stop operations, and other intelligence-based functions.

3. PLC Integration

System integrators specialize in developing, programming, and configuring Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Remote Terminal Unit (RTU)–based control systems. These find applications in various industrial settings, improving efficiency through automation.

4. VFDs in Automation

Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) are essential in optimizing system performance, particularly in water pump systems within wastewater treatment facilities. Their benefits include compensation for changing irrigation demands, reduced maintenance costs, and increased productivity.

When to Use an Automation System Integrator?

An automation integrator becomes crucial for your business, establishing direct communication lines between automated systems allowing your plant machinery to efficiently interact with workers and other equipment. This integration boosts efficiency and ensures compatibility with the Internet of Things (IoT), providing a competitive edge in your business practices.

You might turn to an automation integrator when you need support, want to refocus on your core operations, seek fresh ideas, require expertise to keep up with advancing technology, need a kick-start for a project, or are dealing with unexpected emergencies. In these situations, relying on an automation integrator’s expertise proves essential for optimizing your manufacturing processes and staying technologically competitive.

Automation Integrator

Benefits of Automation Integrators

Partnering with a systems integrator can reap numerous benefits, including:

1. Reduced Costs and Increased Efficiency

Systems integrators can identify and automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks, freeing up employees to focus on higher-value activities. This automation can lead to significant cost savings and improved efficiency across various departments.

2. Project Ease

The coordination, planning, and management of a project can be difficult, especially for those undertaking their first implementation or lacking specific industrial automation expertise. Automation integrators simplify this process by taking charge of all project aspects. They engage in extensive communication, conduct site visits, and meticulously plan the project to ensure a smooth and efficient progression.

3. Expert Engineering

Automation systems integrators mainly have dedicated teams of mechanical engineers with specialized knowledge in industrial automation. These experts play a significant role in creating solution layouts, and their presence during facility planning visits and installation procedures ensures that projects benefit from their wealth of experience.

4. Vendor Partnerships

Well-established integrators cultivate extensive networks of partnerships with key stakeholders. This includes automation machinery manufacturers, material handling equipment vendors, control houses, software platform providers, and mechanical and electrical installers. These partnerships provide integrators with access to specialty pricing, shorter equipment lead times, and valuable automation resources.

5. Singular Source

Opting for an integration solution streamlines the entire process, as all aspects of the facility automation project flow through a single source. Depending on the project’s size, the main point of contact is generally a sales engineer. Once a proposal is signed, a project manager and senior engineer take charge of the account. This centralized approach ensures concise and transparent communication throughout the project, covering regulatory guidance, permits, safety standards, and more.

6. System Support and Service

While not universal among integrators, some offer dedicated aftersales services aimed at maintaining turnkey systems. This includes keeping a stock of spare parts, offering preventative maintenance plans, and providing emergency support. The proactive stance towards system maintenance and the availability of spare parts contribute significantly to minimizing downtime, a critical concern in industries where automation solutions operate continuously.


Technological advancements dominate the 21st century, and automation integrators have emerged as indispensable partners in enhancing the efficiency of distribution facilities and warehouses. Their role extends far beyond mere project management. They provide expert engineering, valuable vendor partnerships, and ongoing support services.

Choosing the right automation integrator is the key to making your automation projects a huge success. They would ensure the development and implementation of a streamlined and efficient system tailored to the specific needs of the facility.

Moreover, the collaborative efforts of automation system integrators, coupled with their expertise and comprehensive approach, will empower you to stay at the forefront of industry trends and maximize the potential of automation in your operations.

Get a Free Consultation