Control Engineering 2016 System Integration Study

Five findings on integrating systems

Amanda Pelliccione

Seven in 10 of respondents’ firms have integrated and/or plan to integrate software; human-machine interface hardware/equipment, operator interface, etc.; and programmable logic controllers or programmable automation controllers. Courtesy: Control EngineeringRespondents to the Control Engineering 2016 System Integration Study identified five high-level findings regarding the impact of integrating systems today:

  1. Project involvement: The majority of respondents (74%) perform system integration services, either in-house or to third parties; on average, these respondents reported working on 16 system integration projects per year. The remaining 26% hire system integrators and reported outsourcing an average of eight projects per year.

  2. Average project size: The average system integration project size that respondents are involved with is about $218,000—a decrease of 11.4% since 2015—with 17% of system integration projects valued at more than $500,000.

  3. On time deliverables: Over the past 12 months, an average of 72% of system integration projects respondents were involved in were on time—a 9.3% increase from 2015. Primary causes of delays fell on unexpected changes in scope, decisions, and late approvals.

  4. Project effectiveness: Half of respondents said automation system integration has been highly effective in their facilities or in the facilities in which they were involved, and another 42% rated it as moderately effective. Respondents traditionally measure project effectiveness by increased productivity levels (61%), on budget delivery (60%), and on time delivery (58%).

  5. Challenges: System integrators continue to struggle with hiring engineering talent for system integration (49%) and industry experience (40%). Other challenges include client relations (38%), a lack of communication (35%), and keeping up with changes to regulations/codes and standards (33%).

Access the full 2016 System Integration report for additional findings. 

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