A new section to the Control System Integrators Association's manual is helping manufacturers around the world find ways to deal with shrinking technical and maintenance staffs.
The section on service and support is featured in CSIA's updated "Best Practice and Benchmarks Manual," which is revised every few years to keep up with the changing environment of control system integration.
According to a press release from the association, the manual offers ways to improve management, system devolment lifecycle, and quality assurance, among other areas.
“More CSIA integrator companies are required by their customers to commit to service and support contracts. These businesses no longer have enough qualified people on staff to do the job,” says Jeff Miller, chair of CSIA’s Best Practices Committee. “CSIA believes the need is critical enough to create an integrator best practice around it.”
Miller says large manufacturers and process plants are driving this service and support trend. Many engineers are reaching retirement age and are not being replaced—often because engineers with specialized technical expertise cannot be found in a tight labor market—so companies are looking for CSIA integrators because fewer staff members have the skills to respond to high-tech issues.
“A plant engineer is often called on to troubleshoot mechanical and electrical issues in the plant, but they seldom write code for the overall plant control system and struggle at times to dig into it to determine the problem,” maintains Miller. “Every day, CSIA members provide the marketplace with control system expertise. We stay on top of new technology and know how to use it.”
CSIA’s “Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual” offers a defined process for delivering service and support that is different from integrator-supported projects. It guides CSIA members on how to best work with clients in this role.
Click here for more information on CSIA’s Best Practices, or how to “Find an Integrator."