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What do you do to source automation companies?

What do you do to source automation companies?

What do you do to source automation companies?

(OP)
I'm in the process of searching for a company to help automate a weld/fab operation.  Searching google is the first step but I was wondering if anyone had any helpful websites that have consolidated a list of companies that would make the search more successful.

I did find this site that is helpful (www.integratorguide.com) but I know a couple good companies that are not on the list so I wonder who is out there that I will be missing by using it.

Also, when selecting companies what are some criteria that you look for in a vendor?   

RE: What do you do to source automation companies?

All the good places that I know of, and I deal with several of them, do mostly word-of-mouth.

Where are you?

RE: What do you do to source automation companies?

When searching for industrial stuff like that, Google is probably the worst place to start, IMHO.  It's just too darn broad of a search and you'll plow through pages of equipment suppliers located in Myanmar, Siberia, Tierra del Fuego or some other such place..  But a single, consolidated source....hmmmm...I doubt you'd find that.  Grab your gloves and shovel, start digging...

ThomasNet & GlobalSpec are better, but not by much.

If looking for robotic welder integrators, most of the robot companies will have a small list of "approved integrators" of some sort.  Some robot companies will also will do limited integration.

You may try using Google for "fabrication magazines" to view online versions and dig through the lists and advertisements for vendors of the type of equipment you need.  Recent trade shows will have lists of exhibitors on their show websites.  Professional societies associated with your desired technology sometimes have discussion boards like Eng-Tips where you can ask the same questions there also.

TygerDawg
Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering
www.bluetechnik.com

RE: What do you do to source automation companies?

(OP)
Thanks for the replies.  I'm located in Eastern Kentucky.  I've been looking at FabTech's site and ThomasNet.  ThomasNet isn't too bad.  

If anyone has any input, the operations will be cutting to length some 20' pieces of channel, straightening the cut lengthes, cutting out an area for clearance, drilling a few holes and welding a plug into place.   

RE: What do you do to source automation companies?

Try the Control System Integrators Association at http://www.controlsys.org.

xnuke
"Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.
Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: What do you do to source automation companies?

Charlie... I worked on both side of this fence for many years.  There used to be lots of automation houses specializing in specific areas or types of automation. Many of these are gone now.  There are still a few large ones and some smaller ones.  I also was a consultant or middle man who searched these out.

Make sure any you find can handle the project.  Some will take on a job just to get work and get bogged down in the middle of it.  Schedule meetings and ask lots of questions.  The harder and more pointed the better.  Do not get sucked into an open ended contract.  I learned this the hard way early in my career.  My little projects I do now are fixed price and fixed delivery.  I buy only this way and sell myself this way.  The final prove out can take way longer than expected.

Make sure you have a finished product that is truely ready for automation.  Automation houses are not developement houses.  An unfinished product is asking for equipment that can make thousands of incorrect parts.

You might check the contract employment companies for consultants.  A little spent up front may save you lots down the road.

 

99 Dodge CTD dually.

RE: What do you do to source automation companies?

Mr. Keller,

I'd be delighted to contact the companies you found missing from www.IntegratorGuide.com.  After 20 years of turning over rocks, I think I've only managed to find 30% or so of all the contract  engineering firms and system integrators that specialize in industrial automation projects.  Sigh.  Any names you could send my way would be much appreciated.

Vance VanDoren
Editor
The Automation Integrator Guide
vance@control.com

RE: What do you do to source automation companies?

We have done Automated Welding applications and are not that far away from you. Visit our website:

www.afctool.com

David Baird

Sr Controls Designer
EET degree.
Journeyman Electrician.

RE: What do you do to source automation companies?

This may be late, but we also check with the chamber of commerce for specific areas and local industrial listings. We have ads in our Local Manufacturing Index.

Charlie
www.facsco.com

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