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AS AN INDUSTRIAL OEM, Priority #1 is to get machines built, tested, and shipped. Your second priority is to support your machines at customer sites. These two responsibilities are so important and time-consuming that it’s difficult to find time for your third priority: to make your machines better. However, if this critical task is neglected, competitors invariably leap ahead with alternatives that are cheaper, perform better, and can be delivered quicker.
There certainly is no scarcity of products and technologies that can improve the automation, instrumentation, and electrical components and systems on your machines. The trick is to find, evaluate, and implement these products without spending an inordinate amount of time or taking on too much risk.
Wading through the swamp of vendor claims with respect to product performance can be daunting. We get inundated with such claims here at Control Design when we write articles, so we’ve settled on an uncompromising method for trying to validate these claims.
We ask vendors to supply us with the names of machine builders and/or independent system integrators who use their products. We contact these users and get their opinions. Input from these sources—and from machine builders and independent system integrators that we contact directly—form the backbone of all staff-written articles in the magazine.
Fortunately for us all, almost all of the sources referred by vendors are technical people, and we know that technical people tend to be world’s worst liars. In the end they always seem to give us the straight truth. This independent third-party verification means that you and your peers—not magazine editors—judge the merits of vendors’ claims.
You also can use the same technique when you evaluate new products. Simply ask for and contact references. Not only does peer input aid evaluation, it also helps inform you of implementation issues your selection might involve.
"Fortunately for us all, almost all of the sources referred by vendors are technical people, and we know that technical people tend to be world’s worst liars. In the end they always seem to give us the straight truth."
ControlDesign.com is the only multimedia source dedicated to the controls, instrumentation, and automation information needs of industrial machine builders, those original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that build the machines that make industry work.