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Manufacturing gains offer encouraging news for automation industry

As U.S. manufacturing recorded the greatest monthly increase so far in 2014, a recent survey involving members of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) also points to an upswing in the automation industry.

According to the J.P. Morgan/CSIA System Integrator Survey, the automation industry is experiencing a “steady lift” entering the second quarter. The global survey of professionals in the automation and controls industry shows that food and beverage, chemical, and oil and gas—among the end markets served by CSIA members—are reporting increased activity.

“The results from the latest J.P. Morgan/CSIA automation survey have respondents forecasting growth anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent in the coming months,”says Bob Lowe, executive director of CSIA.“This suggests that more plant managers, directors of quality and other industry clients are turning to control system integrators to drive automation and more efficient operations.”

Alan Beaulieu, noted economist and president of ITR Economics, echoes the optimism about the future of U.S. manufacturing. As keynote speaker for the 2014 CSIA Executive Conference in San Diego, Beaulieu told a record crowd that control system integrators should prepare for expansion in their industry.

“Right now, inflation and interest rates are low, so Beaulieu is encouraging control system integrators to invest in improving productivity and building company strategies,” says Lowe. “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 has a Latin American Coordinator based in Mexico and advisory committees to increase CSIA’s presence in Latin America and Western Europe, especially Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

To learn more about CSIA and to find a comprehensive online directory of qualified CSIA system integrator members, visit www.controlsys.org.

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