What is the Certified Robot Integrator Program?
Posted on Feb 28, 2012 7:40 PM. 3 min read time
Well, this is a new program launched by the RIA (Robotic Industries Association) last month and that was announced at the 2012 Robotics Industry Forum. It is designed to provide certification for integrators establishing them as possessing a certain standard or level of robotic expertise. This information is essential to manufacturers and end users as it helps them in their task of identifying and comparing which integrators they might choose for the development of their prospective project(s), which is not an easy task considering the high number of robot integrators out there. Manufacturers and end users will still have to analyze which companies will be best suited for the project they have in mind, but certification will provide them with an independent verification that the accredited integrators have meet certain standard qualifications. Also since these companies will be listed with RIA, this puts together a database of prospective robotic expertise which can facilitate the tasks of searching for the appropriate integrator.
Presently the RIA represents some 265 member companies (including Robotiq) and as it has just rolled out the certification program, is just beginning the process of qualifying members as certified integrators.
For certification compliance a company must:
pay the required certification fee,
undergo two-days of auditor verifying information which entails an approximately 4 hour test including hands-on testing of key personnel,
meet minimum personnel expertise requirements including (2) certified Robotics Technologists and (1) certified Expert Robotic Technologist,
meet audit of business infrastructure standards which can be viewed on the Robotic Integrator score card.
The advantages of certification apply to not just to end users, but also help to establish standards for Robotics Technologists and Expert Robotic Technologist who RIA determine have met basic but critical criteria. This means that roboticists are likely to look for certification to improve their resumes so as to prove a certain level of competence or working knowledge. Since RIA is an independent certification and since they review certification every two years, ideally they will be able to more easily authenticate integrators' skills and judge whether or not they are up to date. Likewise certification will provide a benchmark for integrators along these same lines, providing independent verification for when they are being compared to competitor companies in the market.
For Integrators the benefits of certification include:
the use of the RIA logo,
being listed on the Robotics Online website,
proof of independently establish standardized credibility for best business practices,
confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with RIA for sensitive trade secrets,
establishment and standardization of certified personnel as Robotics Technologists and Expert Robotic Technologist who qualify to meet a minimum of criteria,
as well as
providing a yardstick for end user evaluation and for gauging competitors.
Clearly the Certified Robot Integrator Program by validating standards for accredited integrators should help manufacturers, end users and integrators all have a better idea of who is on the playing field. It also adds a lot of value to the RIA, strengthening its position as the organisation for the advancement of industrial robotics.
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