Why it Pays to Hire a Systems Integration Specialist
March 8, 2022 -Categorized in:
Tags: Systems Integration
Systems integration is not a new concept. It’s one construction companies, equipment suppliers, and design-build firms are very familiar with. When it comes to the complex requirements of a modern facility, a systems integrator may be one of the most valuable members of your team.
What is systems integration?
When clients talk about systems integration, they don’t always mean the same thing their contractor does. ACS Mechanical Engineer Randy Rozema said, “Clients usually mean marrying the equipment with the facility so at the end of the day, the test cell gathers the data they require for continued product development,” he said. “We define it as marrying equipment to a control system so we can deliver a total package to our client.”
In a nutshell, systems integration brings together the facility, the equipment, and the control system so they all work together toward a common goal. An integrated system delivers everything the equipment needs to function safely and efficiently. At the same time, it collects the data the company seeks with easy-to-operate controls.
Why use a systems integration specialist?
There are two main reasons why a client or contractor calls in a systems integrator like ACS. The first is when resources are scarce. The client or contractor simply doesn’t have the time or personnel to dive deep into systems integration requirements. Sorting out the needs of the facility, the equipment, and the control system is complex enough. Add in an analysis of how all three components need to work together, and there simply aren’t enough labor hours in a day.
The second is when a project requires a specialist’s know-how. A systems integrator understands what it takes for the entire system to operate as it should. “Companies often call us in because of our expertise,” Rozema said. “If they have to run a new kind of test they’ve never run before, they’ll bring in a systems integrator familiar with that type of testing. That expedites the learning curve for the company and shortens the time until the tests are up and running.”
A systems integrator’s holistic viewpoint offers you greater flexibility to meet your needs. An integration specialist isn’t zeroed in on facility design or equipment functions. They are focused on how the pieces work together to achieve the goal. They may have insights into how individual pieces might be modified to work better together.
It’s difficult for in-house staff to match the depth of knowledge and breadth of skills systems integrators provide. Their constant exposure to the newest developments in rapidly changing technology keeps system integration specialists at the top of their game.
The chicken or the egg
Which piece of the puzzle does systems integration consider first? Are facilities modified to meet the needs of equipment? Or is equipment modified to suit a facility? Actually, the needs of the test supersede both.
A systems integration specialist never loses sight of the main objective: collecting data. Every piece of the system is engineered toward that goal. For an automotive test, that might mean a facility that can accommodate engine exhaust and equipment that can simulate road conditions. For an acoustic test, it may mean a facility with silencers in the ventilation system and equipment designed to operate without sending vibrations into the test cell.
A systems integration specialist has the big-picture view to keep all the pieces in their proper perspective. From designing the system to managing vendors, the systems integrator is able to keep facility, equipment, and control in proper balance.
From construction planning and equipment design, to commissioning the facility and handing over the keys, the specialists at ACS have you covered. Reach out and see how our experience can take your facility to the next level.