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

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