2005 Readers' Choice Awards

Check Out Which Companies Have Been Recognized by Our Readers for Providing the Best Technology Values, Services and Support

November 2005 CoverIn some circles, it might be as big an event as the Oscars. Potential winners hold their breath with anxious optimism to find out if they’ll be feted by CONTROL DESIGN’s academy of readers for doing a good job to help those readers solve automation and control problems. Perhaps that’s a small exaggeration.

Our model for this balloting hasn’t changed since we first presented Readers’ Choice results in 2001. During September, we sent survey forms to about 15,000 CONTROL DESIGN subscribers, who tell us they have authority to specify, recommend, or purchase industrial automation and control products for industrial machines.

Vendors can’t vote, so we didn’t knowingly let any supplier get a ballot. If we did come across a vendor in the responses, we vigorously expunged it. This voting is entirely and only for our machine builder and system integrator readers.

As before, our ballot is what’s known as an unaided survey. We don’t include a list of vendors or product brands to choose from. We listed 50-odd hardware and software categories and asked participants to name the best company for the products with which they have experience. We received responses from more than 240 readers.

While they chose the best technology value providers, we also had them rate the service and support they receive from these companies on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).

Our published results include only those companies that received at least a 5% share of the vote in their category.

Always Some Variety
The number of companies making the cut this year dropped noticeably to 82 from 93 companies in the 2004 result. Some of this is caused by market consolidation and three fewer categories this year. Nonetheless, 11 companies are new to the listing this year.

2004 Readers' Choice Awards
2003 Readers' Choice Awards
Each year, we have winners that stand out in their margin of victory. This year 34 of the 50 (down from last year’s 40 of 53) categories had winners with victory margins of greater than 10%.

Among that group, there were a number that lapped the field. Some 28 companies received at least double the votes of the second-place finisher, and nine companies garnered a clear +50% majority vote in their category, down from 12 last year.

The number of close races—decided by margins of 5% or less—increased to 10, compared with nine in 2004. Four of the races ended in statistical dead heats between two companies, one fewer than last year.

As was the case last year, nine companies turned in multiple-category wins. Continuing the dominant vote-getting power of previous years, Rockwell Automation won outright or tied for first place in 16 hardware and four software categories. Other multiple winners include Emerson Process Measurement with four; General Electric/GE Fanuc won three times; and Hoffman, Honeywell, National Instruments, Parker, and Pepperl+Fuchs each won twice.

Selective Service
Of those 82 companies that made the list, you awarded 55 of them (67%) service and support scores of 4.0 or better—very good-to-excellent performance as measured on a scale of 1-5. By comparison, in 2004 you gave service kudos to 74% of the listed companies. That seems to say you’re getting a little tougher giving out high praise on service and support.

However, for those you did chose to put on the list, you awarded higher praise a little more than last year. As you did in 2004, you chose to recognize seven companies a total of 12 times with service scores of 4.5 or better, although last year’s 4.7 score (by two companies) wasn’t duplicated.

The noticeable difference is that of the 144 times you recognized those 55 companies this year, a healthy 44% received a score of 4.3 or above. Compare that with last year when you gave service scores 4.3 or better 38% of the time.

Whether achieving a score of 4.6 or 4.0, any company making the service and support list should be pleased to receive these readers’ vote of confidence. As was the case last year, some of the companies achieved these commendable service marks more than just once. The Service and Support table (p.46) lists those companies that readers identified as providing service with ratings of 4.0 or better.

Baldor, Rockwell Automation, and Yaskawa were alone in achieving the highest service scores of 4.6.

Five companies—AutomationDirect, Galil Controls, Numatics, Rockwell Automation and Siemens E&A—tallied 4.5 scores across nine product categories, with both AutomationDirect and Rockwell each achieving this commendable score three times.

Voters awarded 23 companies (compared with 26 last year) a service score of 4.0 or better in more than one category. As they did last year, Rockwell Automation achieved this in 26 product categories. Siemens made big strides this year, receiving 4.0 or better ratings in 19 categories, compared with 10 last year. AutomationDirect garnered service kudos in seven categories, while Emerson Process Management made the grade five times. Bosch Rexroth, ifm efector, National Instruments, Parker, and Phoenix Contact each were recognized in four categories. Three (category recognitions) was the magic number for Beckhoff, Honeywell, Invensys, and Pilz Automation Safety; while Baldor, Banner Engineering, Eaton Electrical, Endress+Hauser, Federal Signal, GE Fanuc, Hoffman, Hubbel, STI, and Yaskawa received service recognition in two categories.

So, let the red-carpet reception begin now. Here, listed alphabetically, is this year's elite group. As always, we welcome your analysis and thoughts about the outcome.


Fifth Annual Readers' Choice Awards

(*Differences of less than 3% are not statistically significant)

1. Rockwell Automation 21%  
2. Ametek/Panalarm 15%  
3. Federal Signal 12%  
4. Edwards 7%  
Ball Screw/Lead Screw   
1. Danaher 17%  
2. Nook 13%  
3. Bosch Rexroth 9%  
Controller, CNC   
1. GE Fanuc 46%  
2. Siemens E&A 17%  
3. Bosch Rexroth 7%  
    Rockwell Automation 7%  
Controller, Loop   
1. Honeywell 19%  
2. Red Lion 11%  
    Siemens E&A 11%  
    *Invensys 9%  
5. Rockwell Automation 7%  
Controller, Motion   
1. Rockwell Automation 37%  
2. Bosch Rexroth 9%  
    *Galil Controls 8%  
4. Siemens E&A 6%  
    *Parker Automation 5%  
Controller, PLC  
1. Rockwell Automation 60%  
2. AutomationDirect 9%  
    Siemens E&A 9%  
Data Acquistion System   
1. National Instruments 40%  
2. Rockwell Automation 19%  
Data Recorder   
1. Honeywell 27%  
2. Yokogawa 23%  
3. Invensys/Eurotherm 12%  
4. National Instruments 8%  
1. Rockwell Automation 20%  
    *BEI 18%  
3. Danaher 14%  
4. Encoder Products 11%  
Hydraulic System Controls/Components 
1. Parker Hannifin 37%  
2. Bosch Rexroth 23%  
3. Eaton/Vickers 12%  
Industrial Computer   
1. Rockwell Automation 26%  
2. Advantech 23%  
3. Dell 10%  
4. Pro-face/Xycom 6%  
    *Siemens E&A 6%  
    *Beckhoff Automation 5%  
Industrial Electrical Connector/Cordset
1. Turck 21%  
2. Woodhead Connectivity 18%  
3. Phoenix Contact 8%  
    Rockwell Automation 8%  
    Tyco/AMP 8%  
    *Hubbel 6%  
Industrial Electric Motor Drive  
1. Rockwell Automation 40%  
2. Siemens E&A 8%  
    *Yaskawa 7%  
    *Baldor Electric 6%  
    *Emerson Process 6%  
Industrial Enclosure-Metallic  
1. Hoffmann 65%  
2. Rittal 14%  
3. Hubbel-Wiegmann 7%  
    *Saginaw Engineering 5%  
Industrial Enclosure-Non-Metallic  
1. Hoffmann 64%  
2. Bud Enclosures 5%  
    Carlon 5%  
    Stahlin 5%  
Industrial Enclosure Purge System   
1. Pepperl+Fuchs 62%  
2. Hoffman 8%  
Industrial Network Component  
1. Hirschmann 22%  
2. Phoenix Contact 16%  
    *Rockwell Automation 15%  
4. Siemens E&A 11%  
Input/Output System   
1. Rockwell Automation 41%  
2. Siemens E&A 11%  
    *AutomationDirect 9%  
    *Wago 9%  
5. Beckhoff Automation 7%  
    *Phoenix Contact 6%  
Intrinsic Safety System/Component  
1. Pepperl & Fuchs 24%  
2. Rockwell Automation 13%  
3. MTL 9%  
    *Turck 8%  
    *Siemens E&A 8%  
Linear Actuator/Slide   
1. Danaher 14%  
2. Parker Hannifin 9%  
3. IAI America 5%  
Machine Vision System   
1. Cognex/DVT 60%  
2. Banner Engineering 7%  
    * Keyence 6%  
Measurement, Flow   
1. Emerson Process 34%  
2. Endress+Hauser 7%  
    Siemens E&A 7%  
    *ABB 5%  
    *ifm efector 5%  
Measurement, Level   
1. Emerson Process 24%  
2. Endress+Hauser 13%  
    *Siemens E&A 11%  
4. Danaher 9%  
    *AmetekDrexelbrook 7%  
    *ifm efector 7%  
Measurement, Load Cell/Weighing System
1. Mettler-Toledo 17%  
2. Hardy Scale 11%  
Measurement, Pressure   
1. Emerson Process 28%  
2. Honeywell/Sensotec 12%  
3. Invensys/Foxboro 6%   R>    *Dwyer Instruments 5%  

Measurement, Temperature  
1. Emerson Process 21%  
2. Omega Engineering 13%  
3. Honeywell 10%  
4. ifm efector 6%  
    Pyromation 6%  
    *Siemens E&A 5%  
Measurement, Vibration   
1. GE Energy/Bently Nevada 38%  
2. Rockwell Automation 14%  
Motor, Industrial Electric   
1. Baldor 39%  
2. Rockwell Automation 16%  
3. Regal-Beloit 13%  
4. GE 7%  
    *Emerson Electric 6%  
Motor, Servo   
1. Rockwell Automation 30%  
2. Bosch Rexroth 18%  
3. Yaskawa 8%  
    *Parker Automation 6%  
Motor, Stepper   
1. Parker Automation 24%  
2. Danaher 8%  
    Sanyo Denki 8%  
    *AutomationDirect 7%  
Motor Starter   
1. Rockwell Automation 50%  
2. Schneider Electric 19%  
3. Siemens E&A 8%  
4. AutomationDirect 5%  
    Eaton Electrical 5%  
Operator Interface Terminal   
1. Rockwell Automation 54%  
2. Siemens E&A 11%  
3. AutomationDirect 7%  
    *GE Fanuc 5%  
Panel Meter   
1. Red Lion 37%  
2. Simpson 12%  
3. Newport 8%  
    *Precision Digital 6%  
Pneumatic System Controls/Components 
1. SMC Pneumatics 30%  
2. Numatics 15%  
    Parker Hannifin 15%  
4. Festo 6%  
    MAC Valves 6%  
Power Supply   
1. Sola/Hevi-Duty 29%  
2. Rockwell Automation 12%  
    *Phoenix Contact 11%  
4. Siemens E&A 7%   
    *Power-one 6%  
    *Acopian 5%   
    *AutomationDirect 5%   
    *Puls 5%  
Presence Sensing   
1. Turck 21%  
    *Rockwell Automation 19%  
3. Banner Engineering 14%  
4. ifm efector 10%  
Programmable Safety Controller  
1. Rockwell Automation 27%  
    *Siemens E&A  25%  
3. Pilz Automation Safety 14%  
4. Triconex 5%  
1. Rockwell Automation 31%  
2. IDEC 20%  
3. Omron 13%  
     *Tyco/Potter&Brumfield 12%  
Safety Network Components   
1. Rockwell Automation 29%  
2. Siemens E&A 21%  
3. Pilz Automation Safety 8%  
    STI 8%  
    *Banner Engineering 7%  
Safety Relay   
1. Rockwell Automation 33%  
2. Pilz Automation Safety 20%  
3. Siemens E&A 10%  
4. STI 7%  
    *Schmersal 5%  
Software, CNC   
1. GE Fanuc 24%  
2. Siemens E&A 19%  
Software, Data Acquisition   
1. National Instruments 38%  
2. Rockwell Automation 16%  
3. Invensys/Wonderware 7%  
    *GE Fanuc 5%  
Software, Electrical CAD (E-CAD)  
1. Autodesk 79%  
2. ECT International 5%  
Software, HMI   
1. Rockwell Automation 40%  
2. Invensys/Wonderware 20%  
3. Siemens E&A 10%  
4. GE Fanuc 5%  
Software, Motion Control    
1. Rockwell Automation 48%  
2. Beckhoff Automation 7%  
    Bosch Rexroth 7%  
Software, PC-Based Machine Control  
1. Rockwell Automation 26%  
2. Beckhoff Automation 12%  
3. National Instruments 9%  
    Siemens E&A 9%  
Software, PLC Programming   
1. Rockwell Automation 66%  
2. Siemens E&A 10%   
    *AutomationDirect 9%  
Stack Light Tower   
1. Rockwell Automation 38%  
2. Patlite 17%  
3. Eaton Electrical 12%  
    Schneider Electric 12%  
    *Federal Signal 10%  
Terminal Block   
1. Phoenix Contact 26%  
    *Rockwell Automation 25%  
3. Wago 15%  
4. AutomationDirect 11%  
5. Weidmüller 7%   
    *ABB/Entrelec 6%  
Wire & Cabling   
1. Belden Cable 43%  
2. Alpha Wire 7%  
    LappUSA/Olflex 7%  
    *Anixter 6%  

2004 Readers' Choice Awards
2003 Readers' Choice Awards  


The 2005 Readers’ Choice
Service and Support Leaders

Control Design Readers Tell Us These 55 Companies Provide
Very Good (4.0) to Excellent (5.0) Service

Baldor Electric Industrial Electric Motor Drive
Rockwell Automation Industrial Network Components
Yaskawa Industrial Electric Motor Drive

AutomationDirect Operator Interface Terminal
AutomationDirect PLC Programming Software
AutomationDirect Programmable Logic Controller
Galil Controls Motion Controller
Numatics Pneumatic System Control/Component
Rockwell Automation Alarm/Annuniciator
Rockwell Automation Loop Controller
Rockwell Automation Motor, Industrial Electric
Siemens Safety Network Components

AutomationDirect Power Supply
Bosch Rexroth Motion Controller
Hubbel-Wiegmann Industrial Enclosure-Metallic
ifm effector Presence Sensing
Patlite Stack Light Tower
Rockwell Automation Encoder/Resolver
Rockwell Automation  Power Supply
Rockwell Automation Terminal Blocks
Siemens Motion Controller
Siemens Operator Interface Terminal
Siemens PLC Programming Software
Siemens Programmable Logic Controller
Weidmüller Terminal Blocks

Ametek Drexelbrook Measurement, Level
AutomationDirect Input/Output System
AutomationDirect Motor Starter
AutomationDirect Terminal Blocks
Banner Engineering Presence Sensing
Belden Cable Wire & Cabling
Bosch Rexroth Motion Control Software
Dell Industrial Computer
Eaton Electrical Motor Starter
Emerson Electric Industrial Electric Motor Drive
Hoffmann Industrial Enclosure-Metallic
Hubbel Industrial Electrical Connector/Cordset
National Instruments Data Acquisition System
Parker Pneumatic System Control/Component
Phoenix Contact Industrial Network Components
Phoenix Contact Power Supply
Phoenix Contact Terminal Blocks
Rockwell Automation Data Acquisition Software
Rockwell Automation Data Acquisition System
Rockwell Automation Industrial Electric Motor Drive
Rockwell Automation Intrinsic Safety System/Component
Rockwell Automation Motion Control Software
Rockwell Automation Motor Starter
Rockwell Automation Motor, Servo
Rockwell Automation PC-Based Machine Control Software
Rockwell Automation Presence Sensing
Rockwell Automation Programmable Safety Controller
Rockwell Automation  Safety Network Components
Siemens HMI Software
Siemens Industrial Computer
Siemens Industrial Electric Motor Drive
Siemens Industrial Network Components
Siemens Intrinsic Safety System/Component
Siemens Loop Controllers
Siemens Measurement, Level
Siemens Motor Starter
Siemens Programmable Safety Controller
Turck Industrial Electrical Connector/Cordset
Yaskawa Motor, Servo

ABB/Entrelec Terminal Block
Beckhoff Automation Industrial Computer
Bosch Rexroth Ball Screw/Lead Screw
Bosch Rexroth Motor, Servo
Cognex/DVT Machine Vision System
Eaton Electrical Stack Light Tower
Emerson Process Measurement, Pressure
Hardy Instrument Measurement, Load Cell/Weighing System
Hoffmann Industrial Enclosure-Non-Metallic
Honeywell Loop Controller
Honeywell Measurement, Pressure
ifm efector Measurement, Level
ifm efector Measurement, Temperature
Invensys Loop Controller
Precision Digital Panel Meter
Rockwell Automation Industrial Electrical Connector/Cordset
Rockwell Automation Motion Controller
Rockwell Automation Relay
Siemens CNC Software
Siemens Power Supply
Simpson Panel Meter
Turck Presence Sensing

Baldor Motor, Industrial Electric
Banner Engineering Machine Vision System
Emerson Process Measurement, Flow
Emerson Process Measurement, Level
Emerson Process Measurement, Temperature
Endress+Hauser Measurement, Flow
Hirschmann Industrial Network Components
National Instruments Data Acquisition Software
Omron Relay
Parker Hannifin Hydraulic System Control/Component
Pilz Automation Safety Programmable Safety Controller
Red Lion Panel Meter
Rockwell Automation Operator Interface Terminal
Rockwell Automation PLC Programming Software
Rockwell Automation  Programmable Logic Controller
Rockwell Automation Safety Relay
Rockwell Automation Stack Light Tower
Schmersal Safety Relay
Siemens Measurement, Temperature
Siemens PC-Based Machine Control Software
STI Safety Relay

Acopian Power Supply
Anixter Wire & Cabling
Beckhoff Motion Control Software
Beckhoff PC-Based Machine Control Software
BEI Encoder/Resolver
Endress+Hauser Measurement, Level
Federal Signal Alarm/Annuniciator
Federal Signal Stack Light Tower
Festo Pneumatic System Control/Component
GE Fanuc Controller, CNC
GE Fanuc Operator Interface Terminal
Honeywell Data Recorder
IDEC Relay
ifm efector Measurement, Flow
Invensys Data Acquisition Software
Invensys Data Recorder
Keyence Machine Vision System
LappUSA/Olflex Wire & Cabling
Mettler-Toledo Measurement, Load Cell/Weighing System
National Instruments Data Recorder
National Instruments PC-Based Machine Control Software
Omega Engineering Measurement, Temperature
Parker Automation Motion Controller
Parker Automation Motor, Servo
Pepperl+Fuchs Enclosure Purge
Phoenix Contact Industrial Electrical Connector/Cordset
Pilz Automation Safety Safety Network Components
Pilz Automation Safety Safety Relay
Pyromation Measurement, Temperature
Siemens Measurement, Flow
Sola/Hevi-Duty Power Supply
Stahlin Industrial Enclosure-Non-Metallic
STI Safety Network Component
Triconex Programmable Safety Controller
Yokogawa Data Recorder

2004 Readers' Choice Awards
2003 Readers' Choice Awards