At DLS Custom Automation, our mission to deliver high-quality, efficient, and “right-sized” automation solutions requires a commitment to continually learn new technologies and an investment in continuous improvement initiatives to stay up-to-date as the automation industry evolves.

Our dedication has earned us the titles of Rockwell Automation Recognized System Integrator and ABB Authorized Robotics System Integrator. In addition to Rockwell and ABB products, our Team also supports many additional platforms, such as Horner, Siemens, Epson, Doosan, Keyence, Cognex, and others.
To ensure the best customer experience, we believe in listening to our customers and providing simple and effective solutions. Our team has extensive experience working with various software, automation technologies, and components. This allows us to offer truly customized solutions to our customers. We understand that the terms “automation” and “automation integrator” can be broad and confusing. Therefore, we are happy to clarify and define what these terms mean as they apply to DLS Custom Automation, and in a way that is easy to understand for our customers.
What is Industrial Automation?
Automation is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the use of largely automatic equipment in a system of manufacturing or other production process.” Early automation was developed to enhance productivity and decrease the expenses of managing a large workforce. However, modern industrial automation, which incorporates control systems, software, and robots, is used to control machinery, improve quality, streamline processes, and replace human labor in an industrial setting.

By choosing DLS Custom Automation to integrate your automation solution, you will leverage nearly 50 years of industry experience to tailor your solution. Automated solutions can result in improvements such as lower operating costs, higher productivity, increased product quality, lower defects, a safer working environment, and more accurate data collection. The benefits of industrial automation result in making more efficient decisions about manufacturing processes while keeping workers safe, producing higher-quality goods, and lowering operational costs.

What Does an Industrial Automation Integrator Do?
Industrial automation integrators integrate industrial automation. Simply put, this means that manufacturing processes are improved by adding or introducing automated solutions. At DLS Custom Automation, we use our nearly 50 years of industry experience to offer our customers the highest-quality, most efficient, and right-sized automated solution. We believe in working closely with our customers to uncover needs and discover improvement opportunities while exceeding expectations.
What Are the Different Types of Industrial Automation?
Before considering implementing industrial automation into your manufacturing process, it can be helpful to understand the different types of automation solutions available. Because choosing the right type of automated solution is vital to your business’s success, the DLS Custom Automation team will work with your team to understand your needs before offering any of the four types of custom automated solutions, which are briefly outlined below.

  • Fixed automation, also referred to as hard automation, is as the name suggests. This term is based upon a fixed equipment configuration that allows for a sequence of processing operations to be performed. Fixed automation is designed to produce a single product on a mass scale as efficiently as possible. This type of equipment is the choice for products produced in large lot sizes and with minimal product variability. A common example of fixed automation is a conveyor belt moving large objects like mining equipment or automobiles.
  • Programmable automation, also called manual changeover automation, allows for changes in the machine configurations and operations sequence. This type of automation can produce multiple types of products. Therefore, the products created by such automation are usually produced in lots or batches. When a new batch/lot of a different product is needed, the programmable automation equipment can be manually adjusted to produce the new product type. Since this type of equipment can be used to produce many different parts, the operation of programmable automation is usually less expensive over time than fixed automation. This type of automation is best utilized in medium to high production levels and low product variability. Solutions like these are common in rolling mills, such as those used to produce aluminum, steel, and paper products.
  • Flexible automation, or fully flexible automation, is a type of industrial automation that allows for making different products in a short time frame, allowing the production of different part types to have overlapping lifecycles. This type of automation utilizes tools and systems to allow quick changeover from one task to another and is best utilized in low-volume and high-mix applications. DLS Custom Automation has provided customers with flexible automation solutions such as material handling systems and food and beverage processing equipment.
  • Integrated automation systems operate with minimal human involvement by incorporating the entire manufacturing system into a digitally processed, computer-controlled system. These systems can be used with either continuous process manufacturing or batch processing and use robots and automated equipment to complete every step in the manufacturing process. This is also referred to as lights-out manufacturing. A well-known robotics company and trusted vendor of DLS Custom Automation, FANUC, utilizes a lights-out factory to produce robots without any human assistance.

Automation Solutions

At DLS Custom Automation, a division of McIver Engineering & Controls, we listen to our customers and provide solutions that are made to last. Because each customer requires a unique solution, we offer an array of services as an automation integrator. Some of our services include:
  • Consultation
  • Mechanical & Electrical Concepting and Design
  • System Upgrades
  • Obsolete Platform Support
  • Repurposing
  • Retrofitting
  • Recommissioning
  • Recovery Projects
  • Training
  • On-site Support
DLS Custom Automation
Trust the experts at DLS Custom Automation to design, concept, manufacture, and deliver your next custom machine or automation solution.