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- Mechatronics @ Work: Insight & Technology Solutions
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| January 26, 2012
Leadership In Automation 2011: First Team Honorees
Automation World reports on who readers partner with to implement automation projects and improve their companies’ bottom lines. This new, annual survey helps you know who your peers have chosen as their “first team” suppliers.
It’s human nature to go with whom you know, but if your project suddenly requires something new, or your vendor’s service has changed for the worse and you’re ready to consider an alternative, you need a short list. Automation World has shied away from the various “choice” awards programs since our founding in 2003. However, curiosity grew during 2010 from both the reader and supplier communities about which companies readers would choose to be on their “First Team” when choosing partners for automaton projects.
We cover both factory automation and process automation. Within those broad categories, we cover products ranging from control components to complete control and automation systems to manufacturing management software. Automation World readers come from the ranks of engineering, management, operations and information technology. Given this comprehensive coverage, the list of potential categories for First Team partners is quite large. The results are a short list of companies whom your peers go to first when they’re looking for innovative solutions to their automation problems.
The Web-based survey was constructed so that readers were not prompted with any pre-selected companies. The downside of this totally open survey is that we had a number of people who still think there are companies named Allen-Bradley, Bailey and Modicon, for example. We linked those brands to the companies that own them now.
The other challenging thing—something I discovered when I made the transition from industry to publishing—centers on product category names. What we in publishing call certain technologies does not always coincide with names common in the field. With several hundred responses and nearly 50 categories, it was an interesting intellectual exercise to sort the responses. One other interesting item is that no suppliers tried to pad the voting—fewer than 0.5 percent of the total voters, to the best I could figure out, were from vendor companies.
Leadership in Automation
Vendors were allowed to participate in Automation World’s Leadership in Automation Profiles Special Section (page 61), which is a compilation of formatted information that can help you know more about companies you’re not familiar with. Profiles were available online in 2011, and those that appear in this issue will remain online throughout 2012 to aid and inform you for next year’s survey. A company listed here as a 2011 First Team member may have a profile in that section, so you can learn more about them immediately.
We had a satisfyingly large response to the request for input. Since there are so many categories, it did require a time commitment from those who responded. But watch for emails coming later in 2012 so that you, too, can participate in next year’s survey. It will be interesting to see what companies rise to First Team status next year. And if there is a category or company you think was missed, let me know.
2011 FIRST TEAM HONOREES
Numatics, an Emerson Company
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