2012 Readers' Choice Awards: Experience Matters

Readers sound off on their preferred technology vendors in the 2012 Readers' Choice Awards survey.

By Amanda Joshi, Managing Editor

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Chemical Processing readers have spoken. The 2012 Readers' Choice Awards, the 9th annual poll, presents a rundown of which vendors readers consider technology leaders in a multitude of categories. Many of the 1,157 respondents noted that  a vendor's experience is a major factor in its standing.

"I pick my products from past experience and what I consider is best suited to my application," says one participant.

"We're a small plant and stick with what works," adds another.

This year's lineup included one new category, emissions control technology. The other 47 categories show little change from past surveys, which further indicates readers stick with what's "tried and true."

Emerson Process Management has earned top rankings year after year, and continues to get high marks. The company leads the pack in both the number of categories placed (12) and first place finishes (7).

"Emerson has a comprehensive offering across so many categories that it is easy to integrate it all together," says one reader about his choice.

Honeywell follows with six category placings. Siemens got five, while Endress+Hauser, ABB and General Electric were recognized in four categories. Rounding out the list, SPX, Fluke, Flowserve and Rockwell Automation each garnered rankings in three categories.

In addition, ABB, Alfa Laval, Aspen Technologies, Flexicon, GE (Bently-Nevada) and SPX all received two first place finishes.

Some respondents detailed why they chose the firms they did. "Aspen Tech is the best due to its capabilities, ease of use and outstanding customer support," elaborates one. "Fluke provides the best thermal measurement devices for the cost. They are easy to use and provide quick, accurate results," explains another.


What Makes a Top Vendor
In addition to experience, several respondents note that they chose products based on knowledgeable local technical support and prompt, efficient customer service.

"Many of the categories — I do not have a strong preference.  I perceive them to be like bandages (Band-Aid or Curad — both do the job). It often comes down to local support that makes the difference on who I select," says one respondent.

Other factors that helped vendors achieve recognition include offering reliable, quality products; providing easy access to information via the Internet; developing up-to-date technology offerings; and establishing a diverse "one stop shop" range of products.

When asked which vendor is best, one respondent said ABB because "They work with us, and make use of our feedback concerning products and services."

Another reader prefers Endress+Hauser "as they have a full range of instrumentation with a high degree of flexibility and excellent service, although not cheap!"

In fact, price was rarely listed when participants noted what makes a particular vendor a favorite.

"Most products in general are acceptable, but companies that go the extra mile will win in the long run," advises one participant.

"I believe in quality and would like to see more companies adopt and then subscribe to higher standards. That means walking the walk, not just talking the talk," comments another.

Further details about the winning companies in each category are included on the following pages. For additional information about any of the vendors or products listed, please visit www.chemicalprocessing.com and search for the particular category that interest you. Results from previous Readers' Choice Awards also are available online:

• 2011 — www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2011/readers-choice-technology-awards-2011.html
• 2010 — www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2010/127.html
• 2009 — www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2009/133.html
• 2008 — www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2008/112.html
• 2007 — www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2007/108.html
• 2006 — www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2006/111.html
• 2005 — www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2005/523.html
• 2004 — www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2005/363.html

The Mechanics Behind the Survey
Readers received e-mail notices, electronic newsletters, used a link posted on www.chemicalprocessing.com or responded to Twitter and Facebook postings to complete the questionnaire. A total of 1,157 readers cast their votes about which vendors they consider technology leaders in 48 different categories. Categories were listed, but respondents had to enter the name of the technology provider in a blank text box. By not providing a pre-selected list of companies in each category, the survey avoided bias.

The rankings show the percentage of total responses in each category that a particular company received. We only list firms that got at least 5% of the votes in a category. Scores within 3% of each other should be considered a statistical tie.

And the winner is…
Amarnath Singh, research scientist at the Dow Chemical Company, is the recipient of an 16GB Apple iPad 2, which was offered as an incentive to participate in the Readers' Choice Awards survey. His name was randomly selected by computer from all of the respondents. Congratulations, Amarnath!

 

Alarm Management Software Percent
Honeywell (Matrikon)    22%
Emerson    16%
Siemens    8%
 
Bearings
SKF    42%
Timken    15%

Boilers/Steam Systems  
Cleaver Brooks    17%
Babcock & Wilcox    9%
  
Catalysts  
BASF (Engelhard)    21%
Johnson Matthey    8%
Haldor Topsoe    7%
Sud-Chemie    7% 
Honeywell (UOP)    6%
 
Centrifugal Pumps  
ITT (Goulds)    34%
Flowserve    9%
Sulzer    6%
KSB    5%
 
Centrifuges  
Alfa Laval    22%
GEA Westfalia    10%
Andritz Bird    8%
Heinkel    5%
 
Compressors  
Atlas Copco    18%
Ingersol Rand    17%

Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS)  
SAP    28%
Maximo    16%
Infor    6%
  
Condition Monitoring  
GE (Bently Nevada)    23%
Emerson Process Management    16%
Rockwell Automation     12%
 
Conveying (Mechanical)   
Flexicon    9%
Hapman    5%

Conveying (Pneumatic)  
Flexicon    7%
MAC Equipment    6%
Dynamic Air    5% 

Cooling Towers   
SPX (Marley)    35%
Paharpur    8%
Baltimore Aircoil    7%
 
Distillation Equipment  
Koch-Glitsch    35%
Sulzer    20%

Dryers  
GEA Niro    10%

 
Dust-Control Systems  
Donaldson Torit    20%
 
Emissions Control Technology 
John Zink    8%

Explosion Protection Systems  
Fike    37%
Fenwall    11%

Fans & Blowers  
New York Blower    17%
Howden Buffalo    7%
Chicago Blower    7%
Robinson    6% 
Dresser Roots    6%

Feeders  
K-Tron    26%
Schenck Accurate    9%
Acrison    6%
Brabender    5%
  
Filtration Systems  
Pall    16%
Millipore    5%
 
Flow Instrumentation  
Emerson Process Management    44%
Endress+Hauser    15%
  
Heat Exchangers  
Alfa Laval    21%
GEA    5%
Tranter    5%
  
Heat Transfer Fluids  
Dow    44%
Solutia    18%
Paratherm    7%

Infrared Thermography Equipment  
Fluke    39%
FLIR (Extech)    32%

Instrument Calibration Systems  
Fluke    25%
Emerson Process Management    9%
Beamex    6%
Mettler Toledo    5%
  
Level Instrumentation  
Emerson Process Management    39%
Endress+Hauser    17%
VEGA (Ohmart)    6%
Magnetrol    6%
 
Lubricants
Exxon-Mobil    23%
Shell    14%
Royal Purple    11%
Lubrizol    5%

Mixing Systems  
SPX (Lightnin, Plenty)    32%
Robbins and Meyers (Chemineer)    12%
Ross    5%
 
Motors  
ABB (Baldor, Reliance)    46%
Siemens    11%
General Electric    10%
WEG    7%

Packings and Gaskets   
Garlock    15%
Flexitallic    9%
W. L. Gore    9%
John Crane    9%
A. W. Chesterton    7%
 
Pipe/Tubing/Fittings  
Swagelok    33%
Parker Hannifin    8% 

Plant Design Software  
Aspen Technologies    26%
Autodesk    20%
Intergraph    6%
Honeywell    6%

Positive Displacement Pumps  
IDEX (Viking)    25%
SPX     7%
Moyno    6%
  
Pressure Instrumentation   
Emerson Process Management    42%
Endress+Hauser    8%
Ashcroft    5%
WIKA    5%
  
Process Analyzers   
Emerson Process Management    23%
ABB    14%
Siemens (Applied Automation)    12%

Process Automation Systems   
Emerson Process Management    25%
Rockwell Automation    17%
Honeywell    14%
ABB    11%
Siemens    8%
Yokogawa    7%
Invensys (Foxboro)    5%
  
Process Simulation Software   
Aspen Technologies    40%
Honeywell    11%
Chemstations    6%
Emerson Process Management    5%
Invensys Operations (SimSci)    5%
  
Seals (Mechanical)   
John Crane   38%
Flowserve    15%
A. W. Chesterton    9%
EagleBurgmann    9%

Security Equipment and Services   
ADT    27%
Honeywell    9%
 
Spray Nozzles   
Spraying Systems    43%
Bete     16%
Lechler    5%
 
Tanks & Vessels   
Pfaudler  9%
  
Temperature Instrumentation   
Emerson Process Management    38%
Omega   11%
Endress+Hauser    5%

Vacuum Systems   
Gardner Denver Nash    16%
Busch    14%
Sihi    8%
Graham    7%
Edwards    5%
 
Valves & Actuators   
Emerson Process Management    26%
Flowserve    12%
Metso (Neles-Jamesbury)    6%

Variable Speed Drives   
ABB    27%
Rockwell Automation   21%
Siemens    8%
Toshiba    5%
  
Vibration Monitoring Equipment   
GE (Bently Nevada)    46%
SKF    8%
Emerson Process Management    7%
Fluke    5%

Water Treatment Systems   
Nalco    23%
GE Water Technologies (Betz)    15%
Siemens (U.S. Filter) 8%
  
Weighing Systems   
Mettler Toledo    46%

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