Readers' Choice Awards: Are you being served?

The results are in and winners announced. Process control professionals report who offers the best technologies and who best meets their needs in CONTROL's 14th Annual Readers' Choice Awards

Share Print Related RSS
By Walt Boyes, Editor in Chief, and Jim Montague, Executive Editor

THE BEST gift is something you didn’t know you needed, but once you get it, it becomes absolutely essential. To give such a gift, the giver must know something about the recipient that he didn’t know himself, which isn’t surprisingly difficult, and mostly requires a little careful observation, thought, creativity and follow through.

These are the attributes shared and routinely practiced by the winners of CONTROL’s 14th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards. They don’t wait for users to call with problems. They go out and find potential difficulties, and provide the genuine, real-time partnering that’s always far easier to promise than actually deliver. They share a rare and continuous awareness with the few remaining waiters that still fill water glasses before their diners realize they’re close to empty.

Unfortunately, much like those waiters, these attentive and proactive suppliers seem to be growing scarcer. The respondents to CONTROL’s unaided, readers-only survey only named 74 total companies with at least 5% of their votes in 74 product categories, compared to 84 firms in 2004, even though there were four new categories in 2005.

Service Slackening?
In the 2005 survey’s Service and Support section (See Sidebar at end of article), the readers only identified 26 companies (35.1%) as supplying very good-to-excellent services with scores of 4.0 or better on a 1-to-5 scale. This was a steep decline from the 47 firms (55.9%) that scored 4.0 or better in 2004. In addition, only three companies scored 4.4 or above in 2005, while 24 firms reached this level the year before. While specific causes for this decline weren’t identified in the 2005 survey’s analysis, corporate consolidations, layoffs, outsourcing, accelerating retirement rates, lost expertise, technological shifts, expanding job descriptions, and many other rapidly evolving economic forces can affect the companies named and the perceived quality of their services.

The six service providers that the readers say deliver very good-to-excellent service (4.0 or above) include: Emerson in 18 categories; Siemens Energy & Automation in six; Rockwell in four; Invensys-Foxboro in three; and Endress+Hauser and K-Tek in two categories each.

    
2005 RCA Winners
2004 RCA Winners


Lotsa Jockeying—A Closer Horserace?

As competition heats up in the process control field, traditional frontrunners have a harder time staying in front, and some new players emerge. In the 2005 survey, new leaders took over in 12 product categories. Meanwhile, of the remaining leaders who fended off challengers and retained their titles for another year, 19 gained a larger percentage of the votes in their categories, while 31 saw their percentages shrink, often as their runners-up gained on them.

Similarly, there were also fewer dominant winners in 2005 than a year earlier. For example, 32 companies won by 10 percentage points or more in 2005, while 44 did it in 2004; 27 firms doubled their first runner up’s performance in 2005, while 38 did so in 2004; and while nine companies in 2005 secured a majority of votes in their categories, 11 achieved this in 2004.

In addition, there were 13 close races again in 2005, with less than 5% separating the first and second place finishers. However, there were five ties in 2005, but only two the year before.

One notable constant was that there were nine multi-category winners in 2005 and 10 in 2004. Significantly expanding its personal lead, Emerson and its divisions won in 28 categories in 2005, which was six more than its 22 wins the year before. Similarly, Rockwell won in nine categories in 2005, and won in 8 in 2004. Other multiple-category winners in 2005 were Endress+Hauser, GE and Honeywell, each with three wins, and Fluid Components International, Invensys and Mettler-Toledo with two wins each. 

One more possible sign of tightening competition was that there were 24 firms that topped the required 5% of votes required for a category mention in multiple categories in 2005, compared to 30 in 2004. In 2005’s survey, Emerson was named 40 times, Rockwell was identified 24 times, Honeywell was cited 18 times, Invensys was mentioned 17, and Endress+Hauser was identified 11 times. The year before, the celebrities were Emerson with 41, Rockwell with 20, Invensys with 17, Endress+Hauser with 14, and Honeywell with 13.

14th Annual Readers' Choice Awards

ANALYZERS, AMBIENT GAS DETECTORS
1. MSA -- 18%  
2. Draeger -- 9%  
    Scott-Bachrach -- 8%   
4. Det-Tronics -- 5%


ANALYZERS, DENSITY/CONCENTRATION
1. Emerson Process-Micro Motion -- 20%
2. Thermo Electron (Texas Nuclear) -- 7%
ANALYZERS, GAS CHROMATOGRAPH
1. Agilent -- 20%
2. Emerson Process-Daniel -- 13%
    Siemens-Applied Automation -- 13%
4. ABB -- 9%
    Perkin-Elmer -- 8%
ANALYZERS, HUMIDITY/MOISTURE
1. Vaisala -- 21%
2. GE Sensing (Panametrics) -- 12%
3. Rotronic -- 8%
4. Ametek -- 5%
ANALYZERS, PH/ORP/CONDUCTIVITY
1. Emerson Process-Rosemount -- 32%
2. Danaher-Hach (GLI) -- 11%
3. Yokogawa Corp. of America -- 8%
    Thermo Electron -- 6%
5. ABB -- 5%
    Invensys-Foxboro -- 5%
    Honeywell -- 5%
ANALYZERS, PROCESS SPECTROMETER
1. ABB -- 16%
ANALYZERS, STACK/EMISSIONS
1. Emerson Process-Rosemount -- 19%
2. Ametek (Thermox) -- 7%
    Horiba -- 7%
    Thermo Electron -- 7%
ANNUNCIATORS
1. Ametek (Panalarm) -- 36%
2. Ronan -- 16%
3. Rockwell Automation -- 7%
CONTROL VALVES
1. Emerson Process Management -- 52%
2. Flowserve -- 9%
DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEMS
1. Rockwell Automation -- 16%
    Emerson Process Management -- 15%
2. National Instruments -- 7%
ENCLOSURES
1. Hoffman -- 74%
2. Rittal -- 10%
FLOWMETERS, CORIOLIS
1. Emerson Process-Micromotion -- 60%
2. Endress+Hauser -- 16%
3. Invensys-Foxboro -- 7%
FLOWMETERS, MAGNETIC
1. Emerson Process-Rosemount -- 32%
2. Invensys-Foxboro -- 13%
    Endress+Hauser -- 12%
4. Yokogawa Corp. of America -- 10%
5. ABB -- 6%
FLOWMETERS, OPEN CHANNEL
1. Endress+Hauser -- 17%
2. Siemens-Milltronics -- 11%
FLOWMETERS, POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT
1. Emerson Process-Brooks -- 38%
FLOWMETERS, THERMAL MASS FLOW
1. FCI -- 43%
2. Emerson Process-Brooks -- 13%
FLOWMETERS, TURBINE
1. Emerson Process-Daniel -- 19%
FLOWMETERS, ULTRASONIC
1. GE Sensing -- 32%
2. Emerson Process-Daniel -- 22%    
3. Krohne -- 10%
4. Controlotron -- 6%
FLOWMETERS, VARIABLE AREA
1. Emerson Process-Brooks -- 32%
2. Siemens-US Filter/W&T -- 13%
FLOWMETERS, VORTEX SHEDDING
1. Emerson Process-Rosemount -- 30%
2. Yokogawa Corp. of America -- 26%
3. Invensys-Foxboro -- 17%
4. Endress+Hauser -- 8%
FLOW SWITCHES
1. FCI      16%
2. Danaher-Gems Sensors -- 8%
    ifm efector -- 8%
INDUSTRIAL COMPUTERS
1. Dell -- 33%
2. Rockwell -- 18%
3. IBM -- 6%
INPUT/OUTPUT (I/O) SYSTEMS
1. Rockwell -- 40%
2. Emerson Process Management -- 15%
3. Honeywell -- 7%
    Opto-22 -- 7%
    National Instruments -- 6%
INSTRUMENT FITTINGS
1. Swagelok -- 58%
2. Parker Hannifin -- 21%
INTRINSIC SAFETY BARRIERS
1. Pepperl+Fuchs -- 24%
    MTL -- 22%
3. Stahl -- 18%
LEVEL GAUGES, ELECTRICAL PROPERTY-BASED
1. Endress+Hauser -- 12%
    Magnetrol -- 10%
3. Ametek-Drexelbrook -- 8%
    K-Tek -- 8%
LEVEL GAUGES, FLOAT/DISPLACER TYPE
1. Emerson Process-Fisher Controls -- 21%
2. Magnetrol-Orion -- 12%
    K-Tek -- 12%
    Danaher-Gems Sensors -- 10%
LEVEL GAUGES, CONTRACTING RADAR (TDR, GUIDED WAVE, ETC)
1. Emerson Process-Rosemount -- 24%
2. Endress+Hauser -- 14%
3. Magnetrol -- 7%
LEVEL GAUGES, NON-CONTACT RADAR
1. Emerson Process-Saab Rosemount -- 31%
2. Ohmart/Vega -- 19%
3. Endress+Hauser -- 11%
4. Krohne -- 6%
LEVEL GAUGES, INVENTORY GRADE, INVENTORY GRADE
1. Emerson Process-Saab Rosemount -- 17%
2. Endress+Hauser (Varec) -- 13%
LEVEL GAUGES, LASER
1. K-Tek -- 30%
2. Optech -- 15%
LEVEL GAUGES, NUCLEAR
1. Ohmart/Vega -- 30%
2. ThermoElectron (Texas Nuclear) -- 24%
LEVEL GAUGES, ULTRASONIC
1. Siemens-Milltronics -- 26%
2. Endress+Hauser -- 18%
LEVEL INDICATORS, VISUAL
1. John C. Ernst Co. -- 20%
2. K-Tek -- 13%
LEVEL SWITCHES, POINT
1. Endress+Hauser -- 20%
2. Magnetrol -- 16%
2. K-Tek -- 7%
OPERATOR INTERFACE TERMINALS
1. Rockwell Automation -- 36%
2. Emerson Process Management -- 11%
    Dell -- 9%
3. Honeywell -- 8%
PANEL DISPLAYS
1. Rockwell Automaton -- 45%
PORTABLE CALIBRATORS
1. Fluke-Danaher -- 47%
2. Altek/Transmation -- 16%
POWER SUPPLIES
1. Sola/Hevi-Duty -- 26%
2. Acopian -- 21%
3. Rockwell (Allen-Bradley) -- 8%
    Phoenix Contact -- 7%
5. Power One -- 5%
PRESSURE TRANSMITTERS
1. Emerson Process-Rosemount -- 43%
2. Invensys Foxboro -- 11%
3. Endress+Hauser -- 7%
    Yokogawa Corp. of America -- 6%
    Honeywell -- 5%
PROCESS CONTROL/AUTOMATION SYSTEMS
1. Emerson Process Management -- 30%
2. Rockwell Automation -- 26%
3. Honeywell -- 11%
4. Invensys-Foxboro -- 6%
    Siemens Energy & Automation -- 6%
PROCESS LOOP CONTROLLERS
1. Honeywell -- 16%
2. Rockwell Automation -- 13%
    Micro-Mod -- 12%
    Emerson Process Management -- 11%
5. Yokogawa Corp. of America -- 10%
    Moore Industries International -- 9%
7. Invensys-Foxboro -- 5%
    Siemens Energy & Automation -- 5%
PROGRAMMABLE LOGIC CONTROLLERS
1. Rockwell Automation -- 68%
2. Schneider Electric (Modicon) -- 8%
    GE Fanuc -- 6%
4. Siemens Energy & Automation -- 5%
PURGE SYSTEMS
1. P & F Bebco -- 45%
RECORDERS
1. Yokogawa Corp. of America -- 23%
    Honeywell -- 21%
3. Invensys-Eurotherm Chessell -- 18%
4. ABB -- 11%
REMOTE TERMINAL UNITS (RTUS)
1. Rockwell Automation -- 32%
2. Emerson Process Management -- 9%
    Honeywell -- 9%
3. Control MicroSystems -- 7%
RESISTANCE TEMPERATURE DETECTORS
1. Emerson Process-Rosemount -- 22%
2. Pyromation -- 13%
3. Omega Engineering -- 9%
4. Minco -- 6%
SAFETY SHUTDOWN (SIS) SYSTEMS
1. Invensys-Triconex -- 31%
2. Rockwell Automaton -- 17%
3. Emerson Process Management -- 13%
4. Siemens Energy & Automation -- 8%
    Honeywell -- 6%
SIGNAL CONDITIONERS
1. Moore Industries International -- 25%
    Invensys-Eurotherm (Action Instruments) -- 25%
3. Acromag -- 7%
SOFTWARE, ADVANCED PROCESS CONTROL
1. Emerson Process Management -- 29%
2. Rockwell Automation -- 15%
3. AspenTech -- 10%
    Honeywell -- 9%
    Invensys-Wonderware -- 8%    
SOFTWARE, ALARM MANAGEMENT
1. Emerson Process Management -- 16%
2. Honeywell -- 11%
    Invensys-Wonderware -- 11%
    Rockwell Automation -- 11%
5. Matrikon -- 10%
    TiPS -- 8%
SOFTWARE, ASSET MANAGEMENT
1. Emerson Process Management -- 44%
2. Honeywell -- 10%
SOFTWARE, BATCH CONTROL
1. Emerson Process Management -- 40%
2. Rockwell Automation -- 11%
    Honeywell -- 9%
4. Invensys-Wonderware -- 8%
SOFTWARE, CALIBRATION MANAGEMENT
1. Emerson Process Management -- 32%
2. Honeywell -- 21%
SOFTWARE, DESIGN/DOCUMENTATION
1. Autodesk (AutoCAD) -- 27%
2. Rockwell Automation -- 15%
3. Intergraph (InTools) -- 10%
4. Emerson Process Management -- 5%
    Honeywell -- 5%
SOFTWARE, HMI
1. Rockwell Automation -- 29%
2. Invensys-Wonderware -- 23%
3. Emerson Process Management -- 14%
4. GE Fanuc -- 11%
SOFTWARE, LOOP TUNING
1. Emerson Process Management -- 38%
2. Expertune -- 17%
3. Rockwell Automation -- 10%
SOFTWARE, NEURAL NETWORKS
1. Emerson Process Management -- 55%
2. Rockwell Automation -- 14%
SOFTWARE, PROCESS CONTROL
1. Emerson Process Management -- 32%
2. Honeywell -- 19%
3. Rockwell Automation -- 10%
4. Invensys-Foxboro -- 6%
    Siemens Energy & Automation -- 6%
SOFTWARE, PLC PROGRAMMING
1. Rockwell Automation --  65%
2. GE Fanuc -- 8%
    Schneider Electric (Modicon) -- 8%
SOFTWARE, SCADA
1. GE Fanuc -- 18%
    Rockwell Automation -- 18%
3. Invensys-Wonderware -- 16%
SOFTWARE, SIMULATION
1. Honeywell (HYSYS) -- 18%
    Mynah Technologies -- 18%
3. Rockwell Automation -- 9%
TEMPERATURE SENSORS, INFRARED
1. Danaher-Fluke (Raytek) -- 39%
TEMPERATURE TRANSMITTERS
1. Emerson Process-Rosemont -- 51%
2. Honeywell -- 6%
    Invensys-Foxboro -- 6%
    Yokogawa Corp. of America -- 5%
TERMINAL BLOCKS
1. Rockwell Automation -- 37%
2. Phoenix Contact -- 26%
3. Weidmuller -- 10%
THERMAL IMAGING/THERMOGRAPHY
1. Flir Systems -- 16%
    Danaher-Fluke (Raytek) -- 16%
THERMOCOUPLES
1. Omega Engineering -- 30%
VALVE ACTUATORS, ELECTRIC
1. Flowserve -- 15%
    Rotork -- 14%
    Emerson Process Management -- 13%
4. ASCO -- 10%
VALVE ACTUATORS, PNEUMATIC
1. Emerson Process Management -- 47%
2. Flowserve -- 8%
VARIABLE FREQUENCY DRIVES  
1. Rockwell Automation -- 53%
2. ABB -- 7%
3. Schneider Electric (Square D) -- 5%
    Siemens Energy & Automation -- 5%
VIBRATION SENSORS
1. GE Energy -- 42%
WEIGHING SYSTEMS, LOAD CELL
1. Mettler-Toledo -- 19%
2. Hardy Instruments -- 16%
3. Rice Lake Weighing -- 12%
    Vishay BLH -- 10%
WEIGHING SYSTEMS, INLINE
1. Mettler-Toledo -- 12%
WIRE AND CABLE
1. Belden -- 65%
2. Alpha -- 5%

Editor's Note: Because differences in the results of ±3% or less are statistically insignificant, they are being treated as ties in the numerical rankings. Company divisions follow hyphens. Former or trade names are in parentheses.

Vendors Offering Exceptional Service

(5 = Excellent, 1 = Poor)

5.0
Siemens Energy & Automation Software – Process Control

4.7
Endress+Hauser (Varec)  Level Gauges – Inventory Grade  

4.6
Siemens Energy & Automation Process – Loop Controllers

4.5
Emerson Process Management Software – Alarm Management

4.4
Siemens Energy & Automation Process Control – Automation System

4.3
Control Microsystems – Remote Terminal Units (RTUs)
Emerson Process Management – Remote Terminal Units (RTUs)
Mynah Technologies – Software, Simulation
K-Tek – Level Switches, Point
Mettler-Toledo – Weighing Systems, Online
Rockwell Automation – Software, Neural Networks
Siemens Energy & Automation – Variable Frequency Drives

4.2
Emerson Process Management – Data Acquisition Systems  
Emerson Process Management – Process Loop Controllers
Emerson Process Management – Software, Design/Documentation
Hardy Instruments – Weighing Systems, Load Cell 
Siemens Energy & Automation – Programmable Logic Controllers

4.1
Danaher-Fluke – Portable Calibrators
Emerson Process-Rosemount – Level Gauges, TDR Radar
Emerson Process Management – Software, Advanced Process Control
Emerson Process Management – Software, Batch Control
Endress+Hauser – Pressure Transmitters
Invensys Foxboro – Flowmeters, Coriolis
National Instruments – Data Acquisition Systems
Pepperl+Fuchs – Intrinsic Safety (IS) Barriers  
Swagelok – Instrument Fittings
Yokogawa Corp. of America – Recorders

4.0
ABB – Recorders
Acromag – Signal Conditioners
AspenTech – Software, Advanced Process Control
Det-Tronics – Analyzers, Ambient Gas Detectors  
Emerson Process-Fisher – Level Gauges, Float/Displacer Type
Emerson Process-Micro Motion – Analyzers, Density/Concentration
Emerson Process-Rosemount – Analyzers, Stack/Emissions
Emerson Process-Rosemount – Flowmeters, Vortex Shedding 
Emerson Process Management – Input/Output (I/O) Systems
Emerson Process Management – Process Control, Automation Systems
Emerson Process Management – Safety Shutdown (SIS) Systems
Emerson Process Management – Software, HMI
Emerson Process Management – Software, Loop Tuning
Emerson Process Management – Software, Neural Networks
Flowserve – Control Valves
Honeywell – Remote Terminal Units (RTUs)
Invensys Foxboro – Analyzers, pH/ORP/Conductivity
Invensys Foxboro – Process Loop Controllers
K-Tek –  Level Gauges, Electrical Property-Based
Krohne – Level Gauges, Non-Contact Radar
Omega Engineering – Thermocouples
Power One – Power Supplies
Pyromation – Resistance Temperature Detectors
Rockwell Automation – Annunciators
Rockwell Automation – Software, Loop Tuning
Rockwell Automation – Software, Process Control
Siemens-Milltronics –  Flowmeters, Open Channel
TiPS – Software, Alarm Management

PAST WINNERS
2005 Readers' Choice Award Winners
2004 Readers' Choice Award Winners

Share Print Reprints Permissions

What are your comments?

Join the discussion today. Login Here.

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments