Process Automation Technologies | Are Schneider and ABB considered chopped liver? | Control Global

Forbes magazine and Keith Nosbusch apparently think so, according to this exclusive "special to the web" report from CONTROL magazine's Around The Loop columnist Terrence K. McMahon.

By Terrence K. McMahon

In the November 15 issue of Forbes magazine (p. 194) (, Rockwell Automation CEO Keith Nosbusch refers to a worldwide controls market of $75 billion which likely includes both discrete and process controls.

CONTROL’s Top 50 (upcoming in the December 2004 issue) shows a worldwide process control market of $50-55 billion. Nosbusch’s figure, however, probably includes a lot of discrete controls as well as valves, actuators and drives used in the discrete factory automation market, so Mr. Nosbusch's estimate of $75 Billion is probably quite close for the entire market, both process and discrete.

Who’s the Boss?
The article mentions Siemens, GE, Honeywell and Emerson as key competitors, but doesn’t mention some significant others, so Danaher, ABB and Schneider are probably saying: "So what are we, chopped liver?" This is especially true since the upcoming CONTROL Top 50 ranks ABB, Danaher and Schneider above Rockwell. In fairness to Rockwell, they didn’t respond to our request for financial data this year, so the data is our best estimate, based on 2003 data. If they had responded as we asked, their position in the Top 50 might be different.

The Moral of the Story
After years of being ignored by both the markets and venture capitalists, the automation market is finally becoming hot again as manufacturers realize that their hope to compete in the world market is higher productivity, fueled by better automation strategies and real-time asset management.

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Terrence K. McMahon, McMahon Technology Associates, 135 Fort Lee Rd., Leonia, NJ 07605-2217. Tel: 201.585.2050; Fax: 201.585.1968; e-mail:
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