2017 Readers’ Choice Awards: these suppliers won top spots

This year's winners remind us that, with machine automation, some selections are timeless and classic

By Mike Bacidore, editor in chief

What's old is new. Machine automation has been around for decades. In fact, closed-loop control predates Henry Ford and the industrial revolution. This year marks the 17th annual Control Design Readers’ Choice Awards. And, for as much as automation has changed over the years, it still controls machines with feedback from sensors.

The winners of the 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards were selected by Control Design readers. More than 18,000 individuals who’d identified themselves as having buying influence or authority were invited to access our confidential ballot. All of the voting was unaided, meaning no list of suppliers are included for assistance or guidance.

The ballot is created by the participants, as we simply ask for the first, second and third preference in more than 65 categories, the results of which we have grouped as Control, Hardware, Motion, Networking, Safety, Sensing and Software. We also do not knowingly count the votes of any suppliers in our tabulations.

Once again, Rockwell Automation was the go-to brand for most products, finishing first in 22 categories. Other multiple winners includedFanuc (2), Turck (2), Pentair Hoffman (2), Pepperl+Fuchs (3), Schneider Electric (4), Cisco (4), Cognex (2), Emerson (4) and Banner Engineering (2).