Control 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards

Control Readers Report Their Solution Provider Preferences in More than 100 Process Automation Technology Categories

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Emerson Process Management remains the dominant flow measurement player in our awards, complementing its win in pressure transmitters with top awards in magnetic, vortex and Coriolis technology. These competencies are represented by its Rosemount, Daniel and Micro Motion brands. Brooks Instrument, which had been part of the Emerson family, won in variable area and positive displacement flowmeters.

Process measurement specialists Endress+Hauser and Krohne also fared well in several flow measurement technologies, as did other automation platform providers, including Yokogawa, ABB and Invensys Process Systems (on the strength of its Foxboro brand). GE Sensing claims the top spot in ultrasonic flow measurement on the strength of its Panametrics acquisition, while Siemens benefits from the ultrasonic and open-channel flow measurement technologies it purchased from Controlotron and Milltronics.

Niche specialist FCI (Fluid Components International) garners the top spot for its Thermal Flowmeters and Flow Switches, which operate on thermal diffusion principles.

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The Final Element

The crucial last link in any automated process control loop is of course the final control element. Measurements can be taken and control decisions made—but all unravels if those decisions are not translated effectively and reliably into final action. Primary among the process industries’ means of affecting process control are the position of a valve or the direction and speed of an electric motor.

For the control valve itself, top spot in this year’s Readers Choice Awards goes to Emerson Process Management, primarily on the strength of its Fisher Controls brand. Runners up Dresser Masoneilan, Flowserve, Samson Controls and Metso Automation were often mentioned as well. In the category of pneumatic actuators, Emerson also carries the day, but cedes electric actuators to Rotork Controls.

In the category of variable-speed motor drives, Rockwell Automation was ranked most highly in this year’s Readers Choice Awards polling, with global players ABB, Siemens and Schneider rounding out the top spots.

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Elsewhere in the Field

Last, but certainly not least, this final group of Readers Choice Awards includes a supporting cast of essential field instrumentation technologies that play a critical role in process automation, but don’t belong to another logical group discussed thus far.

First off, the words “data acquisition” may mean many things to many different people, but in this year’s poll the DAQ system awards goes to National Instruments—maker of both data acquisition hardware and the popular LabView graphical programming environment. Invensys Wonderware, maker of the industry-leading InTouch software is runner-up, followed by a litany of other major automation platform providers.

A bit further afield, the enclosure award goes to perennial favorite Hoffman Engineering, while the preferred enclosure purge system award to Pepperl+Fuchs by virtue of its Bebco acquisition. And the preferred choice of what to put inside those boxes? The nod for remote terminal unit goes to Rockwell Automation.

Leak-proof fittings are, of course, critical to any process instrumentation installation, and honors for the category of Instrument Fittings goes to Swagelok, followed by Parker Hannifin.

And finally, our Readers Choice Awards for two important process measurements: vibration and weight. The nod for vibration instrumentation goes to GE Energy on strength of its Bently Nevada acquisition. Excellence in the category of weighing system/load cell goes first to Mettler Toledo.

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