Building Automation Companies Drive Manufacturing Forward

It’s no secret that automation and robotics are the future of industrial manufacturing. The advent of AI and machine learning has only sped up this process, allowing manufacturers to better manage everything about their production while lessening the need for human labor in repetitive tasks.

But unless you’re a start-up with a brand-new facility, you’re likely dealing with a piecemealed automation system that isn’t allowing your production line to perform at its best. Outdated control system infrastructure poses risks to facility security and safety, production throughput, compliance, consistency, and more.

It’s a reality that industrial producers need to contract automation engineering firms to help them catch up to the head of the curve. But that takes a control system integrator that understands the nuances of this new, ever-evolving field of automation, and designs their integrated systems with an eye towards the future of industrial automation.

Facility-Wide Automation Systems Are Here to Stay

Before we discuss the importance and hallmarks of automation system integrators in the industrial sector, let’s take a quick look at why these companies are key partners to companies of all shapes and sizes:

  • In 2022, the global market for building automation systems was 81.3 billion. This grew to 90.3 billion in 2023.
  • Approximately 1/3 of this market is North America alone. North America is projected to remain the leading region in factory automation expansion.
  • The building automation system market is projected to be worth 143.1 billion by 2027.
  • Turnkey automation can drastically reduce the 30% energy loss typical of industrial commercial facilities.

Throughout all this growth and proliferation, E Tech Group automation partners Rockwell Automation, Siemens AG and Schneider Electric SE are three of the top automation vendors worldwide.

The Place of Factory Automation Companies in Industrial Production

Just like manufacturers are trying to find what’s best for them when it comes to improving their facility automation, so, too, are building automation companies looking for ways to facilitate those new and evolving needs. Engineering companies are constantly learning new software and adapting their approach to control system design in real-time.

Industrial automation companies whose engineers keep apprised of new tech and how to best implement automated processes can offer industrial manufacturers tangible results, such as:

  • Additional line capabilities
  • Better IT/OT security
  • Improved safety and compliance
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased production capacity
  • Labor shortage resilience
  • Less system malfunctions and downtime
  • Scalability

Consider the impact of these advantages. Increased testing throughput in a pharmaceutical facility means faster speed to market. Validated processes allow food and beverage producers to improve quality and consistency. Zero Defect control system design drastically cuts malfunctions and downtime in water utilities plants. Live data analytics reduce strip breakage and defects in metals production. These things set each company, and their industry at-large, up for sustainable, long-term growth and improvement.

Turnkey Factory Automation Requires a Strategic Approach

Past understanding how to use and implement the right automation and control system technology is how to build a robust plant-wide system infrastructure by piecing together the best automation products for a specific industrial enterprise. That means using the right hardware and software, as well as understanding obstacles and how to overcome them.

The Equipment

The hardware an integrator uses can either hinder or help facilitate the automation system and its usability. A building-wide control system infrastructure must integrate numerous systems, including:

  • Actuators
  • HMIs
  • Motion control systems
  • PLCs
  • Robotics/Cobots
  • Sensors

E Tech Group manufactures custom control panels and associated hardware so that these physical pieces can easily assimilate with the software that supports them.

The Tech

Automation software is just as important, if not more. If you have an existing facility that needs a control system upgrade, this is where E Tech Group can help update and improve automated equipment that is outdated but too costly to replace. We utilize automation products from the most innovative brands like:

  • Rockwell Automation
  • Siemens
  • Allen-Bradley
  • Ignition
  • Schneider
  • Emerson

And our building automation strategy stays ahead of the technology curve by incorporating things like:

  • Data historians
  • Digital twins
  • DSCs
  • MESs
  • Big data analytics
  • Robust reporting systems

With every client, the goal is to build or upgrade a control system that will be easy for them to use and augment as their facility continues to change and grow. Our approach to facility-wide automation focuses heavily on cybersecurity and comprehensive yet elegant integration. We manage system builds and upgrades from start to finish so you can reap the rewards of this top-tier tech and equipment immediately upon implementation.

The Challenges

Another vital facet to each project is the obstacles we have to overcome in order to get the client exactly what they need for now and for the future. Often, the biggest challenge we face is integrating people with technology. Common and natural barriers we are adept at resolving include:

Fear of Change

With any plant-wide automation upgrade, there is naturally reticence on the part of operations. It’s justified – they are the ones who’ll be using the system, and they’re the ones whom the system infrastructure will affect day in and day out. But resistance to change is often more fear of the unknown than anything.

From shop floor to the top floor, E Tech Group integrates seamlessly. We work closely with on-the-floor staff from the outset of a project, taking into account operations’ needs, wants and goals. A collaborative approach makes everyone feel important and included in the process, which can greatly alleviate negative emotions around the system upgrade as well as help streamline transition to the new system.

Education and Training

Including all impacted parties throughout the course of the control system build also helps educate everyone on the system as it’s being designed, which sets the client up for a smoother transition upon implementation. When users understand how all the parts of the control system work together, they will naturally be able to better manage the system.

E Tech Group also provides thorough training programs for each project, using experiences along the way to educate us on what the most important features will be to the users and what style of training will work best for your staff. A well-trained staff makes for a smoother transition and less downtime.

Budget constraints

More often than not, the budget is the biggest hurdle a client faces when considering a complete factory automation build or upgrade, and E Tech Group’s track record of on-budget projects that exceeded client expectations is unmatched. Our organic and collective approach to project progress, as well as our ability to find modular, compatible automation software that can save equipment previously deemed obsolete, save clients time and money.

Tailored Control System Integration to Future-Proof Your Facility

With over 30 years of experience in the automation industry, E Tech Group is one of the largest engineering, building automation and control system integration companies in the US. Covering all of North America, and with 18 offices spanning coast-to-coast, our automation engineers have deep domain expertise in industries such as:

As a company providing clients turnkey factory automation services, E Tech Group’s unique approach to control system design and implementation sets clients up for immediate and long-term success. Key obstacles manufacturers today face are pivoting to automation, and finding automated solutions that are adaptable and scalable.

E Tech Group performs thorough audits and assessments, conferring with your team to design and implement a building-wide automation system that is secure, redundant, intuitive, and precise. As well, our brand of control system integration lets the client retain the ability to:

  1. expand their production line’s throughput and quality,
  2. incorporate new/different products into the automated system, and
  3. scale up the system without the need for complete retrofits at each step.

Our distinct skills in factory automation, collaborative approach to system design, and availability to provide ongoing support after project end, ensures E Tech Group clients are set up for success with a robust control system that supports their current and future goals.

Our distinct skills in factory automation, collaborative approach to system design, and availability to provide ongoing support after project end, ensures E Tech Group clients are set up for success with a robust control system that supports their current and future goals.