System Integrators of the Year: The future is today for 2016 winners

The System Integrators of the Year combine technology with a customer-centric approach. See roundtable video discussion.


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Bob Vavra (left) talks with Tim Matheny (left of center) of ECS Solutions (center-right), Michael Gurney of Concept Systems, and David Blaida (right) of Matrix Technologies about the present and future for system integrators. Courtesy: CFE Media

Bob Vavra (left) talks with Tim Matheny (left of center) of ECS Solutions (center-right), Michael Gurney of Concept Systems, and David Blaida (right) of Matrix Technologies about the present and future for system integrators. Courtesy: CFE MediaThe future of system integration will bring people and machines closer together while expanding productivity. That's the same goal of the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a public/private partnership of education and manufacturing to deliver innovative solutions to manufacturing issues.

So it was the CFE Media's 2016 System Integrators of the Year met at DMDII, located on Chicago's Goose Island, to accept their awards and discuss the issues facing system integrators, and manufacturing in general. The 2016 winners are:

  • Matrix Technologies, Maumee, Ohio: Large System Integrator Category ($25M and above annual revenue)
  • Concept Systems, Albany, Ore.: Mid-Sized System Integrator Category ($10M to $25M annual revenue)
  • ECS Solutions Inc., Evansville, Ind.: Small System Integrator Category (Up to $10M annual revenue)

The 2016 judges who reviewed the System Integrator of the Year entries were:

  • Shari Worthington, president, Telesian Technology, Inc.
  • Paul Barnard, insurance program manager, International Society of Automation (ISA)
  • Don Roberts, principal, Exotec, LLC · Dennis Brandl, founder, BL&R Consulting
  • Bob Vavra, content manager, Plant Engineering
  • Mark Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering
  • Steve Rourke, co-founder, CFE Media

Judges again were impressed with the depth of experience among system integrators and the variety of projects they tackle each year. Selecting winners were again a close call, but the 2016 recipients impressed the judges in a variety of ways.

"Concept Systems' submission is the best I have seen in all the years of judging this competition," said Roberts. "I am certain it is a good reflection of how they serve their customers."

"ECS Solutions has well documented business skills, technical competence, and customer satisfaction," said Control Engineering content manager Mark Hoske about the winning entry from ECS. "Projects described quantify savings as a result of system integration and installed automation provided."

The venue provided a great backdrop for the 2016 SIY winners to hear about some of the intriguing technology currently under study at DMDII, and also to discuss with CFE Media some of the trends they see in the industry.

Beyond the in-person video interviews, we separately discussed key trends in the industry—and also what makes for a great partnership between integrators and manufacturers—with each of the 2016 SIY winners.

2016 System Integrators of the Year winners discuss industry trends

Representatives of each of the 2016 System Integrators of the year sat down with CFE Media content manager Bob Vavra to talk about the state of their industry, the key market and technology drivers, and what this award means of each of them.

Each of the stories linked below will link to the videos and they include discussions with representatives of each of this year's SIY winners along with a roundtable discussion about trends in the industry as shown above. The videos also are available under the Videos tab at and

ONLINE extra

- Learn more about the individual 2016 System Integrators of the Year below.

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