The Great Automation Supplier Purge of ‘07-’08

I had a hard time getting my head around this data point when I first saw it: More than half of the participants in our just-published Research and Buying Habits of Machine Control Professionals Study tell us they've changed a major supplier in at least one major product category during the past year. A bunch of them made a change in more than one of these product categories. We're not talking about commodity items such as buttons or panel bulbs or timer relays. The categories we asked about were operator interface/HMI, controllers, I/O systems, motors & drives, etc. Equally shocking--and I'm not easily shocked--some 30% of those who've made such a change say it was quality and/or performance problems with the product that made them say "Enough is enough." I'd like to discuss this more with you. Is there more to this than we can tell from the raw data? Take a minute and tell me why this makes sense to you. Or tell me why this doesn't resonate with you at all. And you suppliers out there....what do you have to say for yourselves? It can't just be "the other guy"...... You can also read can read my March column The Great Supplier Purge.
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  • <p>I used to manage the automation group for a machine builder, and I know how difficult and risky it is to switch out a major component. I too am shocked that so many would switch. But, I am also pleased to see that machine builder nation is dynamic and relentless in pursuit of the best automation components for their machines.</p>

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  • <p>For many years, I (we) were 90% A-B in the Controls Realm. Their slipping product quality and implosion of correct-the-first-time (or even 3rd time) Tech Support, plus it's outrageously expensive fees to be a "Tech Connect Partner" (not to mention their bug-ridden PLC programming multi-packages) finally began pushing us away from them in the 1999-2001 timeframe. We discovered such excellent products and tech support at other places, at 1/4 the price, that now A-B is less than 1/2 of our controls selections.</p> <p>It's been going this way with A-B ever since Rockwell took them over in the mid 1990s.</p> <p>Our machinery has actually improved with the other vendors' PLCs: they are faster, have NO failed modules out-of-the-box, and their tech support has taken us straight to the people who actually know the hardware/software/firmware when questions have arisen.</p>

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  • <p>I used to manage the automation group for a machine builder, and I know how difficult and risky it is to switch out a major component. I too am shocked that so many would switch. But, I am also pleased to see that machine builder nation is dynamic and relentless in pursuit of the best automation components for their machines. <a href="http://www.wbparts.com">Aircraft parts</a> </p>

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