The 2003 Readers' Choice Service and Support Leaders

Readers Tell Us 61 Companies Provide Very Good (4.0) to Excellent(5.0) Service

Dec. 2003, cover imageYou can't go wrong when you have readers who are eager report who they think are the companies they find the most helpful in solving their ever-changing automation needs.

That's the case again with this year's Control Design Readers' Choice Awards. We just put those choices in the hands of our performance-focused Control Design readers. They answered our call again and told us which automation suppliers provide the best instrumentation, controls, and automation technologies for their industrial machine builder community. They also made it clear which of those companies they think provide excellent service and support.

Our model for this award remained the same. Some months ago, we sent survey forms to more than 12,000 Control Design subscribers who tell us they have authority to specify, recommend, or purchase industrial automation and control products for their machines. Vendors are not eligible to vote, so we didn't knowingly let any supplier get a ballot. And, for the few occasions when we found a vendor in the response mix, we purged the ballot with a sense of righteousness and delight. This is for our machine builder and system integrator readers and no one else.

Marketers call our approach an unaided survey. We never include a list of vendors or product brands to choose from. We listed 48 hardware and software categories and asked the participants to fill in the one best company for the products he or she had experience with. We received responses from 350 readers.


While they were choosing the best companies, we also asked the participants to rate the service and support they receive from these companies on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent).

Great Service Is Being Recognized But it's Dropping

Our published results include only those companies that received at least a 5% share in their category. Great service is being recognized, but it's dropping. Eighty-five companies, 15% fewer than in 2002, received enough votes (5% or greater share) to appear in the published results.

Of those 85, you awarded 60 of them service and support scores of 4.0 or better. That's very good-to-excellent performance on a scale of 1-5. That number of companies is a significant 12%-drop compared to the number recognized for their great service last year. The Service and Support table below lists those companies that readers identified as providing service with ratings of 4.0.

Further, in 2002, nine companies received service and support scores of 4.5 or better. This year you awarded that recognition to just four companies. Is this a warning shot across the suppliers' bow?

Nonetheless, any company making this year's service and support list should be gratified to receive this reader vote of confidence. As was the case last year, some of the companies achieved these noteworthy service marks in multiple categories.

This was AutomationDirect's year for service recognition. It was the only company that received a service mark of 4.6 from the readers, and it earned the mark in three categories: Operator Interface Terminal, PLC, and Terminal Blocks.

Three companies were given 4.5 scores: Banner Engineering for presence Sensing, Schneider Electric/Modicon for PLC Programming Software, and Siemens Energy & Automation for Industrial Network Components.

Twenty different companies received service scores of 4.0 or better in multiple categories.

Rockwell Automation/Rockwell Software achieved this in 22 product categories. Schneider Electric was recognized for service in seven product categories, among them one 4.5 and three 4.4 scores. Siemens had similar results, with seven service recognitions, among them one 4.5 and one 4.4.

Phoenix Contact was recognized for service in six categories, receiving its highest marks in the categories of Intrinsic Safety and Power Supplies.

The readers recognized Emerson for service in five categories, with its best result coming in the Motion Control Software category.

Four-category service recognition was bestowed on AutomationDirect, Danaher Motion, GE Fanuc, and Omega Engineering. ABB Automation, Omron Electronics, and Parker Hannifin each received reader recognition in three product categories, while Baldor Electric, Banner Engineering, Eaton Electrical (the former Eaton/Cutler-Hammer group), Endress+Hauser, ifm efector, Turck, and Yaskawa Electric rounded out the multiple winners category with two each.

2003 Service and Support Leaders


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Banner Engineering Presence Sensing

Schneider Electric/Modicon Software, PLC Programming

Siemens E&A Industrial Networks/Components


ABB Automation Industrial Electric Drives

AutomationDirect Software, PLC Programming

Omega Engineering Presence Sensing

Pepperl+Fuchs Presence Sensing

Pyromation Measurement, Temperature

Rockwell Automation I/O Systems

Schneider Electric Industrial Electric Drives

Schneider Electric Safety Relays

Schneider Electric/Modicon PLC

Siemens E&A PLC

Watlow Measurement, Temperature


Banner Engineering Safety Relays

Bosch Rexroth/Indramat Software, Motion Control

Eaton/Cutler Hammer Light Towers

Emerson/Control Technique Software, Motion Control

Encoder Products Encoders/Resolvers

GE Fanuc/Intellution Software, HMI

Lapp USA/Olflex Wire&Cable

MTL Intrinsic Safety

National Inst Data Acquisiton

Phoenix Contact I/O Systems

Phoenix Contact Intrinsic Safety

Phoenix Contact Power Supply

Regal-Beloit Industrial Electric Motors

Rockwell Automation Industrial Networks/Components

Rockwell Automation Intrinsic Safety

Rockwell Automation Loop controllers

Rockwell Automation Safety Network Components

Saginaw Control&Engineering Industrial Enclosures

Z-World Single-board computer


ABB/Entrelec Terminal Blocks

Amphenol Industrial Electrical Connectors

Baldor Electric Motors, Linear

BLH Measurement, Load Cell/Weighing

Eaton/Vickers Hydraulic Systems/Components

Emerson Process Management Measurement, Flow

Emerson Process Management Measurement, pressure

Emerson Process Management Measurement, Temperature

Endress+Hauser Measurement, Level

Endress+Hauser Measurement, pressure

GE Fanuc Software, PLC Programming

GE Fanuc/Intellution Data Acquisiton

Honeywell Measurement, pressure

ifm efector Presence Sensing

Keyence Machine Vision

Omega Engineering Measurement, Load Cell/Weighing

Omega Engineering Measurement, pressure

Omega Engineering Measurement, Temperature

Omron Electronics Machine Vision

Phoenix Contact Signal Conditioners

Rockwell Automation Encoders/Resolvers

Rockwell Automation Industrial Computer

Rockwell Automation Industrial Electric Drives

Rockwell Automation Measurement, Vibration

Rockwell Automation PLC

Rockwell Automation Safety Relays

Rockwell Automation Software, HMI

Schneider Electric Presence Sensing

Siemens E&A I/O Systems

Siemens E&A Industrial Electric Motors

Siemens E&A Software, PLC Programming

Siemens/Milltronics Measurement, Level

STI Safety Network Components

Turck Presence Sensing


Acopian Power Supply

Action Instruments Signal Conditioners

Alpha Wire&Cable

Belden Wire&Cable

Danaher Motion Motors, Servos

Emerson Process Management Measurement, Level

Hoffman Engineering Industrial Enclosures

MAC Pneumatic Systems/Components

Omron relays

Omron Electronics Presence Sensing

Parker/Compumotor Motors, Servos

Pepperl+Fuchs Intrinsic Safety

Pepperl+Fuchs/BebcoEPS Purging Systems/Components

Phoenix Contact Terminal Blocks

Pilz Automation Safety Safety Relays

Red Lion Controls Panel Meters

Rockwell Automation Alarms/Annunciators

Rockwell Automation Interlock Switches

Rockwell Automation Light Towers

Rockwell Automation Operator Interface Terminals

Rockwell Automation Relays

Rockwell Automation Terminal Blocks

Ronan Engineering Alarms/Annunciators

Schmersal Interlock Switches

Schneider Electric Interlock Switches

Schneider Electric Motor Starters

SOLA/Hevi-Duty Power Supply

Thomas & Betts Industrial Electrical Connectors

Wago Terminal Blocks

Weidmuller Terminal Blocks

Yaskawa Electric Motors, Servos


3COM Industrial Networks/Components

ABB Automation Measurement, Flow

Acromag Signal Conditioners

Analog Devices Signal Conditioners

Baldor Electric Industrial Electric Motors

Danaher Motion Software, Motion Control

Danaher Motion/Thomson Linear Actuators

Danaher/Gems Sensors Measurement, Level

Dell Computer Industrial Computer

Edwards Signal Light Towers

Federal Signal Light Towers

GE Fanuc PLC

Hardy Instruments Measurement, Load Cell/Weighing

ifm efector Measurement, Level

Invensys/Wonderware Software, HMI

Moore Industries Signal Conditioners

Parker Hannifin Hydraulic Systems/Components

Parker/Compumotor Motors, Stepper

Phoenix Contact Industrial Networks/Components

R.Stahl Intrinsic Safety

Rockwell Automation Motor Starters

Rockwell Automation Motors, Servos

Rockwell Automation Presence Sensing

Rockwell Automation Software, PLC Programming

Siemens E&A Loop controllers

Turck Intrinsic Safety

Yaskawa Electric Industrial Electric Drives

Yokogawa Data Recorder