This is my first post to this forum and actually I just wanted to get folks opinion. I currently use Ignition in my day to day use with my current employer but I was thinking of going off on my own with Ignition and becoming an Integrator. My question is, do any of you think it would be worth it, is there enough work out there to be able to do this on my own baring any other issues of running a business. Just wondering about the opportunities present, if any.
This would be my opinion.
If you can build panels, install panels, train personnel on how to use the equipment and your finished program. Then you might have a chance. But if you are just talking about doing the program only, then you may have a tough time making it.
Once again - just my opinion.
My two cents are it really depends on the market saturation in your area too. If there are a lot of independent programmers then adding yourself into the mix, while not being impossible, can be a very difficult thing. I’ve known several friends who do nothing except act as a programming subcontractor to other companies that build and install the panels.
However, the thing that really enabled them to succeed was they had made a lot of contacts with private companies such that when they went of on their own the work followed them. They had never signed a non-compete clause so this was legal on their part.
Other considerations are licensing costs. I wish Ignition was all I had to worry about, but on the HMI side I also have to pay for a FactoryTalk license, an iFix license, and a Wonderware (my personal least favorite) license. On the PLC side I have to pay for a developer’s license for the Allen-Bradley line of PLCs, Unity for Schneider-Electric, Step 7 for Siemens (ugh).
Obviously, these costs could be spread out as you are required to program in them, and you might be able to use the clients license to program their PLCs and computers, but that’s fairly stressful if you have a client that needs a job done ASAP and you have to spend a couple weeks getting in their system, getting a VM setup with their software, and then make all your custom blocks.
Plus you need to be have enough money set back to pay yourself a salary and pay for everything you need to.
All of which is completely possible! I’m just saying it’s best to go into things with your eyes wide open. Check your savings, see if you could get investors, get a realistic idea of what the cost would be to purchase the software you need to (decide if there are any systems you’re going to skip), etc.
If all you were thinking of is being an Ignition Integrator and nothing else… I wouldn’t think that is a viable business model. You’d be better off finding a full-time job that paid well where the job description was to maintain Ignition.
hmm… I think I gave more than 2 cents worth of opinion there