In This Issue
Exchange needs participation of all CSIA members
Executive Conference breaks the records - again!
Members recognized for service to CSIA, the profession
Patterson attends industry events
CSIA hosts exhibit, panel at The Automation Conference
JP Morgan / CSIA Survey
CSIA Webinar Series
California members share comments, challenges
Check out the latest member spotlight
Insurance update
HARTING shares growth strategy
2014: A year of investment and expansion at Rittal Corporation
"Interested in Interest" - Can I make money on not getting paid?
ARC Advisory Group and CSIA survey clients
People and Organizational Culture
CSIA members make headlines
Welcome new members

AB Kontrol
Istanbul, Turkey

AdvanTech Corporation
Fairfield, NJ

Automation Control Service, LLC
Pensacola, FL

Gatepacific Circuits, Inc.
Dasmarinas City CAV, Philippines

Lanco Electric, Inc.
Leechburg, PA

Tapeswitch Corporation
Farmingdale, NY

US Controls, Inc.
Ontario, CA

Congratulations to the following CSIA Certified members:


Concept Systems, Inc. - Albany


Concept Systems, Inc. - Tukwila


ECS Solutions

Newly Certified:

Technical Systems, Inc.


Contact Us 

Leadership directory



Get Connected 


Facebook Twitter




Apply Now  


Refer a new member!

Tell your colleagues about CSIA. Find member benefits and an application at




Did you receive this issue from a colleague? Get your own copy! Register to receive the CSIA Newsletter on a regular basis here

The CSIA e-newsletter is now available in Spanish. To be added to the mailing list, please contact Marcela Vallejo.
Quote of the Month
"If your business is not reaching important goals on time, it's usually the result of poor strategy. If you're feeling lots of stress, it's usually tied to people related problems. If you're experiencing cash flow problems, it's usually the result of poor behavior and execution."
- Ken Edmundson


 The go-to resource for control system integration.  

June 2014  

Exchange needs participation of all CSIA members

by PC Romano, Chairman of the Board


The introduction of the Industrial Automation Exchange is a major milestone in the 20-year history of CSIA. Back in 1994, when the founders of the association met in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., they could not have envisioned something quite like the Exchange. Yet, the Exchange is proof positive of what CSIA has always sought to do: Combine the resources of many for the advancement of all.


Even though many of us are competitors, we are more successful because of our connection with each other. By sharing benchmarking information, we can measure our progress and identify areas for improvement. By sharing best practices, we can learn from each other's experiences and implement better processes.


Now, by sharing web space, we can create a magnet that is far more powerful than any one of our companies could achieve alone.


For the Exchange to succeed, we need the full participation of all CSIA members. It is the collection of information that makes the Exchange valuable. When clients come to the Exchange for solutions to industrial automation challenges, we want them to find a virtual mall where all the stores are full of services and products they need.


We ask that all CSIA members log in and complete their bronze-level profile (free to CSIA members for the first year) by Monday, June 16. If you have already filled out your bronze-level profile, I encourage you to consider a silver or gold-level profile and further showcasing your company's abilities.


Marketing is a challenge we all face. This is an opportunity to pool our resources and work together to raise the visibility of our profession and of all of our companies. 


Executive Conference breaks the records - again!

A record-breaking 537 people attended the 2014 Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Executive Conference in San Diego in April.


Economist Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics, opened the conference by sharing his optimism for the future of manufacturing and how system integrators can prepare for expansion beginning in 2015. Right now, inflation and interest rates are low, so Beaulieu is encouraging control system integrators to invest in improving productivity and building company strategies. The same message applies to industry clients, who are upgrading plants while costs are low in order to get a better return on investment.


Beaulieu also told CSIA members that the U.S. and Mexico are much more efficient in automation, process improvement and skill than in the past, and are well positioned for manufacturing in the years to come. CSIA is working to increase CSIA's presence in Latin America and Western Europe, especially Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.


In addition to plenary sessions, 20 breakout sessions on topics related to management of a system integration firm were offered during the three-day event. More than 80 system integrators, partners and guests from outside the United States were welcomed at a special reception for international guests. Sixty partner members exhibited the latest developments in industrial automation solutions during an evening exhibition.


Several occasions offered the opportunity for networking, including an opening night reception for all guests hosted by Anixter and an awards dinner honoring three CSIA members. (See separate article.)


The talk of the conference was the new Industrial Automation Exchange. Members were invited to create personal and company profiles on the Exchange, which replaces the popular Find an Integrator directory with a social community for integrators, partners and prospective clients. 


See hundreds of photos from the Conference on the CSIA Facebook page.


The 2015 Executive Conference will be April 29 - May 2 in Washington, D.C.


Members recognized for service to CSIA, the system integration profession

The Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) announced winners of three awards during the 2014 Executive Conference. The awards were presented at a dinner in honor of the recipients.


Steve Goldberg, director of information technology, Matrix Technologies Inc., was awarded the Charlie Bergman Award. The award recognizes an individual member for outstanding service to the organization through leadership, education, mentoring and advancement of CSIA's goals.

"Steve has shown a tremendous commitment to CSIA through his service to the organization in varying board positions including treasurer, chairman of the board, as well as future leader identification," said Ed Diehl, co-CEO, Concept Systems, Inc. "He continues to help our board with strategy development and shows his commitment to helping us continue to learn and grow. Steve has always been willing to share ideas, without expecting anything in return, which is the essence of the Charlie Bergman Award."


Keith Mandachit, IT manager and senior engineer, Huffman Engineering Inc., was named CSIA Rising Star. The award recognizes young professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to the profession and exhibited leadership potential.


"Keith helped develop a state-of-the-art testing and training room at Huffman Engineering's facility for client demonstrations, training for new engineers and student interns, and integrated team work in testing and check-out," said Wendy Huffman, vice president at Huffman Engineering. "Keith also has been instrumental in the founding of the Nebraska FIRST LEGO League, an organization that motivates young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering. He is responsible for coordinating more than 100 volunteers for Nebraska FLL tournaments and started the HuskerBots, a Huffman Engineering-sponsored team."


Phoenix Contact, received the Partner of the Year Award. The award recognizes a company that has significantly contributed to the betterment of CSIA and its members and promoted CSIA certification. Steve Newcomer, distribution channel specialist, has been an active member of the association's partner and client marketing committees.


"Phoenix Contact has contributed significantly over the last several years to the success of CSIA, mostly through the Partner Committee," said CSIA Executive Director Bob Lowe. "Two people from Phoenix Contact are currently on the CSIA Cybersecurity Task Force, and Steve Newcomer participates on the Client Marketing Committee which is currently engaged in development of our new Industrial Automation Exchange."


Patterson attends MESA industry events

by Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, CSIA President


CSIA values partnerships with other professional and industry associations. Following the executive conference, I had the chance to attend two other association events. 


MESA International meeting, a part of Industry Week was attended by largely end users and included plant tours at a number of companies, including Miller Brewing, Briggs and Stratton and GE Healthcare. Their membership and organizational structure is very similar to CSIA. 


Also, I briefly attended a PI North America technical training - mostly to meet the group, understand their attendees, and network. Those attending included systems integrators, distributors and a numbers of partners who also attend CSIA. 


CSIA hosts exhibit booth and panel discussion
at The Automation Conference

The Automation Conference held last month in Chicago gave CSIA the opportunity to meet and network with system integrators, industry suppliers and industry clients.


CSIA's participation included a booth, where visitors could learn more about the association, CSIA Certification, and the new CSIA Exchange. This was the first opportunity to speak with end users since the Exchange went live in late April. Many were excited to see what the CSIA Exchange had to offer and volunteered their feedback on what they would want to see from such a unique resource. 

Certifications - not only CSIA Certification but also individual and product certifications - topped the wish list with end users.

Organized by Summit Media Group, TAC held dozens of seminars on everything from automating brewing operations to using mobile devices for industrial applications. CSIA held a panel discussion at the conference. Luigi De Bernardini, Autoware; Stephen Blank, Loman Control Systems Inc.; Michael Lindley, Concept Systems Inc.; and Executive Director Bob Lowe discussed "Addressing the Skills Gap with System Integrators," which proposed to clients that system integrators have the training and experience to wear many different hats in the course of a project and could save manufacturers labor and money. 


JP Morgan/CSIA survey results sent to participants

"Responses on rolling six month demand improved, with those seeing improvement (53%) outnumbering those seeing weakening (22%) an improvement from 40% seeing improvement / 25% weakening in our prior survey (3Q2013). On book-to-bill, 32% are above 1.0x versus...".


This is an excerpt from the March 2014 JPM/CSIA survey 45-page report. This unique 25-question, semiannual survey of system integrators provides valuable insight to CSIA so we know the direction of our industry. For JPM it provides a perspective unavailable through automation supplier and distributor data. CSIA leadership thanks the 120 members that completed the survey and received the JPM report and raw data spreadsheet. Our hope is that it supports your business planning.

  • What are your most significant markets?
  • What markets are you expanding into?
  • What are the primary types of applications your company does?
  • What was your revenue growth over the last 12 months?
  • What is your forecast for revenue in the next 12 months?
  • What is your order activity?
  • What is your backlog?
  • What markets are showing the most order activity?
  • What markets are showing the weakest order activity?
  • How would you characterize project delays?
  • What best describes your client's appetite for MES software investments?

This is a sampling of the questions for this 15-minute survey. Our hope is that more of our members will take advantage of this excellent business planning tool by participating in the September survey. Results are provided to survey participants only. Partner members can request a proprietary copy of the results.


webinar series
See all the archives on the webinar page.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 11 a.m. EDT (New York) 

Windows XP EOS (end-of-service): What can you do to help your clients and expand your business?

Frank Williams, Senior Manager of Belden Cyber Security

There has been much talk lately about the end of lifecycle issue related to the Windows XP operating system (OS). In fact, for the past year, Microsoft has been reminding folks that on April 8, 2014, they officially ended extended support for the Windows XP operating system (OS).

For more than 12 long years Windows XP has been a stable and significant workhorse of an operating system (OS) and not only for enterprise-wide desk top PCs. But you may be surprised to find out Windows XP is heavily used in industrial applications including ruggedized PCs (e.g., HMIs, programming stations and engineering laptop) as well as embedded into thousands of devices that control and monitor many factory automation, process control operations, power, water and transportation infrastructure installations.

What will your clients do? More importantly, what can you do to help your clients? Join us for this webinar where you will learn more about the Windows XP issue and how you can create value to your clients on this important change.



Software Toolbox
All webinars are hosted by Software Toolbox, a CSIA Partner member.


California members share comments, challenges

by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director


After the CSIA conference in San Diego I visited many of our members in California to get feedback on CSIA and to better understand their needs. What did I learn? First off, everyone was in favor of the new Exchange and intends to participate!


Here is a sample of other comments from my visits:


Why do you belong to CSIA?

  • The business focus. Provides key business skill sets.
  • Networking/relationship building opportunity. CSIA is a like-minded group with common interests and goals.
  • Executive conference (the 2014 conference got rave reviews)
  • Best Practices and Benchmarks
  • To improve their business - credibility, profitability, sustainability
  • Insurance program
  • Salary survey - CSIA helps establish job descriptions.

What should stay the same or change?

  • Improving brand awareness was mentioned by nearly everyone! Their clients are unaware of CSIA. Clients are not requesting CSIA Certification.
  • Provide project management training specific to the SI industry: in-person and webinar-based
  • Provide boot camps on various best practices
  • Webinars - many positive comments
  • Conference - create audio recordings, have more breakouts, be interactive
  • Facilitate organization of peer groups
  • Have a way for members to share resources with other SIs
  • Provide requirements/specifications for end users to use
  • Keep doing the JP Morgan survey
  • Most like and use Connected Community

What are your biggest challenges?

  • Brand awareness
  • Finding people
  • Workforce development
  • Client education on working with SIs

 Send an email to me with your opinions.


Check out the latest member spotlight

Gustavo Rojas is CEO of Gersa Monterrey, a CSIA Certified member headquartered in Santa Catarina, Nuevo León, Mexico. Gersa is a leader in serving the mining, automotive and glass industries and has been in business for more than 20 years. We invited Gustavo Rojas to share some background on his company and the industry for this edition of the CSIA Member Spotlight.


Insurance update
by Paul Barnard, CSIA Insurance Program Manager

Another conference has finished and what a conference it was! There was a super attendance at our Insurance Program lunch. It is always a pleasure to meet existing and potential insured members.


Additionally the Friday afternoon presentation "Lessons from Touching a Hot Stove" was great. Five long-time CSIA members stood up and revealed details of their personal business disasters - both witty and illuminating.


One of the disasters discussed involved employee dishonesty that resulted in a substantial loss exceeding $400,000. Employee dishonesty is a subject that I often find members are not taking seriously enough and are, therefore, leaving themselves wide open to this hazard.


A couple of points you need to consider. Any employee who is in the position to steal your money or property is by definition "trusted" by you. If they were not then you would not have given them the job. Typically, an employee who ends up stealing from you has suffered a change in personal circumstances of which you are unaware. In the good old days the change usually involved marital problems or race horses. Nowadays, we have gotten much more complicated and the reasons are far more varied.


One example of a real loss suffered by a CSIA member not discussed at the conference session involved an employee whom the owners of the business met the day she was born. They were her godparents, they employed her at age 18, they put her in charge of the books at 23, at 25 she discovered gambling, and by 27 had stolen $250,000.


Again, the people who can do this are trusted by you. So what to do? First you need to get a full audit from your outside accounting advisors. Not a review but a full audit. Request from them recommendations upon how you can tighten your systems to ensure that your exposure to employee theft is minimized. Then you need to buy insurance, not for what you think an employee would steal but for how much they actually could steal.


For more information on this article or our insurance programs in general please contact me. You can reach me either at or  (11)-610-507-6595.


HARTING shares growth strategy

HARTING was a Gold Sponsor of the 2014 CSIA Executive Conference


HARTING continues to grow. This positive overall trend is also reflected in the headcount. HARTING employed 3,920 staff worldwide at the end of March - an addition of 105 employees over the end of the 2012-2013 financial year (Sept. 30).

HARTING is confident that this positive headcount trend will continue over the medium term and will soon break through the 4,000-employee barrier worldwide. "We develop high-quality and innovative products. We also supply our customers with tailored and tried-and-tested solutions for integrated industry. That represents a sustainable and future-oriented business model," as Philip Harting added.

Integrated industry is a key element of the HARTING growth strategy. This year's Hannover Messe trade fair ("Integrated Industry - NEXT STEPS") focused on this theme and it is also the lead slogan ("smart solutions for integrated industry") in the HARTING trade fair appearance. In integrated industry, products provide knowledge by way of their processing. Industrial production processes are integrated into company-wide business applications, such as the ERP system. This enables companies to adopt an eco-friendly and resource-saving approach and to organize production more efficiently, flexibly and quickly - fully in line with their requirements and conditions.


2014: A year of investment and 

expansion at Rittal Corporation

Rittal was a Platinum Sponsor of the 2014 CSIA Executive Conference


Rittal Corporation may have sprung in the United States from German roots more than 30 years ago, but today, the world's largest enclosure manufacturer's operations are advancing at a breakneck pace in North America. Investment and growth is being realized at nearly every level and function of the organization in recent months. 


An initiative aimed at being closer and more accessible to customers has led to the opening of three new Rittal outposts in less than a year. A new Atlanta warehouse acts as a key distribution facility for the southeastern U.S.; a Southern California location houses a sales office fully equipped for customer meetings, product demos and training; and the suburban Chicago location, new home of the corporate headquarters, provides easy access to Rittal leadership and opportunities for customers to receive product training, consultation and to get hands-on with the Rittal line.


The growth doesn't stop there. Though the corporate headquarters moved to Chicago in late 2013, the 105-acre Urbana, Ohio, campus remains home to the manufacturing center of excellence and the primary site of investment for Rittal. The already state-of-the-art, half-million square foot production and warehousing facility has been undergoing significant upgrades, expenditures totaling more than $5 million. Enhancements include a new SAP warehouse management system and several new machines that expedite punching, welding and folding of standard and nonstandard products. The moves are already paying dividends in the form of improved order fulfilment metrics and production speed. 


Rittal has built its global reputation on a tireless pursuit of unparalleled quality and innovative product innovation. But, that philosophy of continuous improvement reaches far beyond product development, and there's no better evidence than all the changes happening in 2014.


To learn more about Rittal and its line of products visit


"Interested in Interest" - Can I make money on not getting paid?

by Brian P. CliffordCSIA Attorney


First, it was great meeting many of you in San Diego at the CSIA Executive Conference! Thank you for your warm reception, and I hope you enjoyed Mark Voigtmann and my performance of The Negotiation (with Jokes). Since we haven't heard from Broadway yet, I am back this month with another CSIA newsletter legal update.


One provision that I am frequently asked about in control system integration agreements is the "interest clause." These clauses generally provide the applicable interest rate for delinquent payments - either "upstream," with respect to an integrator's payment for work performed and deliverables provided, or "downstream" with respect to amounts owed to suppliers, subcontractors or other vendors. I generally respond to such questions by suggesting a few possible options:


Say nothing:  Despite the rumors, attorneys aren't usually paid by the word - and sometimes saying nothing is your best option, especially on terms that may cause a difficult negotiation to become even more difficult or when proposing new terms will slow down a fast-moving deal. For example, each U.S. state has one or more "default" interest rates that may apply to amounts past due on a contract when the parties have not specified a rate in the agreement itself (or in an "incorporated" document, such as an invoice or purchase order, when applicable). The rates vary widely, but generally fall between 5 percent and 12 percent simple interest. Such "default" rates may be sufficient depending on the financing arrangements for the particular deal.


State a market rate:  In international transactions (where there are mixed opinions on the correct interest rate under applicable international conventions and treaties) or in deals where a stated interest rate is desirable, it is common to state a rate tied to moving average interest rates. For example, many agreements call out interest at "The Wall Street Journal Prime Rate, plus 2.00 percent," or "Libor plus 100 basis points."


State a coercive rate:  If you are worried about late (or improperly withheld) payments from the other party to your contract, you may want to "encourage" payment by attaching a high interest rate to such delinquent amounts. By increasing the stated rate, or by increasing the frequency that the interest calculation compounds, you can gain leverage for use in a dispute. If you have looked at the fine print on your credit card disclosures with respect to the interest calculations in the event of a default, you can see how interest can greatly increase the amount due to you after a missed payment deadline. However, be wary - many states and countries have maximum interest rates that apply in a variety of circumstances, especially if you are providing goods or services to consumers rather than business-to-business transactions.


Brian Clifford is a member of the automation practice at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. He can be reached at +1.260.460.1687 or


ARC Advisory Group and CSIA survey clients
ARC Advisory Group and CSIA have partnered to develop a survey of end-user clients, owner and operators. We are seeking their input on their experiences working with system integrators. The information will help improve delivery of automation by CSIA member companies.

We ask that our members in all countries, both Partner and Integrator, send the survey link to a few of their clients. It should be people with project activities, particularly those who work with system integrators.
Regarding privacy, all responses will be strictly confidential. No individual or company specific information will be disclosed. All responses will be tallied and only aggregated results will be published. The results will be sent to those who complete the survey and request the results.

If the response is sufficient for ARC to write an article, CSIA's analyst, Craig Resnick, will summarize the results in an article with distribution to ARC clients. Additionally, the article rights will be purchased by CSIA to allow distribution to our members. This valuable information can be used to enhance integrator/client relationships! For this project to be successful, all CSIA members are asked to encourage some of their clients to complete the survey.


The survey is located at CSIA Owner-Operator Survey.

People and Organizational Culture          

by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director


People and organizational culture have been a significant topic of discussion amongst our recent webinar series, newsletters and at our conference, particularly by Ken Edmundson. Then I came across an article that I decided to share with our members that is about "putting people before the bottom line." It's interesting - I remember this was a discussion in Open Forum when the economy tanked a few years ago. Anyway, this Inc. magazine article is about Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller. Design Group, a Barry-Wehmiller company, is a CSIA member, possibly our largest. Enjoy the article.


CSIA members make headlines
in the headlines Members that have been featured in industry media recently include:



MES and Competitiveness
Automation World

How to Successfully React to an Economic Crisis
Automation World

Avid Solutions Inc.
Why Partnership with a System Integrator is Critical
Automation World

Concept Systems Inc.
The Wisdom of Perpetual Upgrades
Automation World

How to Get Cash for a Retrofit Project
Automation World

Loman Control Systems Inc.
Automation Buyers: Don't Ignore Service Level Response
Automation World

How Do You Know When to Upgrade Your Control System?
Automation World

Matrix Technologies Inc.
Smarter packaging rooms start with 'start'
Packaging Digest

Making Industrial Software Work like Apps
Automation World

Viewpoint Systems
Consumer market will drive industrial Internet of things for manufacturing
Control Engineering   


Why you need a control system integrator who belongs to CSIA
Automation & Controls Today   

Media opportunity with Plant Services

Plant Services publishes articles on its website,, and in a monthly print magazine that is distributed to 80,000 subscribers. The editorial staff is looking for a CSIA member to submit an article, case study or white paper to the publication. Here are the top five preferred topics, but PS is open to all relevant content:

  • Asset management software (CMMS/EAM)
  • Industrial safety (personal safety and process/environmental safety)
  • Motors, drives and power transmission
  • Predictive maintenance technologies such as oil analysis, lubrication, vibration analysis, ultrasonics, infrared thermography
  • Material handling

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Ann Nelson for more information.