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CONTROL Top-50 ListThe Automation Suppliers' Top 50 list has been published in the December 2010 edition of CONTROL. This list is produced every year by Larry O'Brien, ARC Advisory Group, and Walt Boyes, Editor of Control magazine.
In a fragmented and confusing business, all revenue numbers not related to automation have been eliminated, which provides a clear view of industry rankings. The CONTROL TOP-50 list has become the standard by which the automation industry is measured.
The numbers used are from 2009, which introduces a year's lag. But, this is the only fair way, because companies release their full year results at different times.
Walt Boyes points out the effects of the recession: The USA market (25% of the world market) fell by 15% from 2008 to 2009, to $19.3B; the world market was down by 11% to $77.8B.
Based on interim reports, the 2010 numbers (which will be in the Dec. 2011 issue of CONTROL) will show significant improvement.
Here is my summary of the Global and N. America Top-10, with some rank additions for clarity.
In N. America, the top four (Emerson, Rockwell, ABB and Siemens) retained their positions; Emerson maintained market share at 15% and ABB improved to 8.8%; but Rockwell fell by 1% to 11.4%.
Invensys IOM returned to the USA Top 10 at number 9, with 3% market share. World rankings showed no changes in the positions of the top six: Siemens, ABB, Emerson, Rockwell, Schneider and Honeywell.
When we look at the global market, changes are evident. Last year, Siemens (18%) and ABB (12%) were well ahead of the rest, followed by the other majors each at around 5% market share. This year the results show Siemens dropping back to 16.6%, ABB steady at 11.8%, and Emerson moving up to 6.2% share, ahead of Schneider, Omron, Yokogawa and Mitsubishi, which were overtaken by Rockwell and Honeywell.
Here are a few of the mid-size companies I track; I expect these leaders to keep growing steadily in the rankings:
The Whole Sorry Story and Some Light at the End of the Tunnel
Pinto Prognostications 2011After the global downturn, most automation companies are growing again, primarily through international markets where new factories and plants are being built.
In US and European markets, the installed base of automation systems reaching the end of their useful lives represents a big opportunity. Automation suppliers have expanded their offerings for upgrades, in some cases plug-in replacements for competitors systems.
Here are my picks for automation technology that will make an impact this year:
The international Top-10 automation lineup will certainly change, with mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. The question remains - which company is large enough to acquire whom? As China and India advance rapidly in the new decade, expect one or both countries to make major automation acquisitions to enter US and European markets.
2011 Consumer Electronics ShowThe annual International Consumer Electronics Show is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow, held each year in Las Vegas. The January 6-9 2011 event has just concluded. Most of us could not be in Las Vegas this week, and so I thought I'd give you my own viewpoint, with web links that will be the next-best thing to being there.
Again, the 2011 CES set several new records: More than 140,000 attended, with 30,000 from outside the US, and more than 80 international delegations. 2,700 technology companies exhibited and 22 top CEOs participated in keynotes.
The show spanned global industries including technology, automotive and entertainment markets. It featured more innovation, more news, more social media buzz and more international attendance than any other show in history.
Major technology trends: Launch of more than 80 tablets, 4G wireless, connected TV technologies, smart appliances and electric vehicles. Ford unveiled their first electric car - the Ford Focus Electric.
Tradeshows bring people face-to-face, to network and conduct business. Social networking tools helped to make this happen. Everyone seemed to be using location-based marketing tools like mobile apps, Digital Dialog, Twitter and Facebook, to reach attendees and exhibitors, before, during and after the show, to help navigate the giant show floor. A new Follow-Me app allowed attendees to link to their friends' schedules, and provided interactive floor maps with routing to booths, allowing for downloading of exhibitor information directly from mobile devices.
It's important to keep track of tech trends to plan your 2011 tech-buying. Here are six observations directly from the show (via John Brandon) to help you stay in tune:
The Alarm Management HandbookThis is the most complete best-practices book available for designing and maintaining effective alarm management systems. It was published by PAS, the automation-genome company, based in Houston, TX. This second edition was written by Bill Hollifield, Principal Alarm Management Consultant, and Eddie Habibi, PAS founder and CEO.
Abnormal situations in plants around the world kill and injure people, cause significant environmental damage, costing the industry billions of dollars every year. Investigation reports on industrial accidents often point to faulty alarm systems as a contributing factor. Properly designed and maintained alarm systems significantly improve plant safety, reliability, and profitability.
The Alarm Management Handbook provides a field-proven methodology for improving the performance of industrial facility alarm systems. It derives from over a decade of research and the lessons learned from hundreds of successful alarm improvement projects.
This highly anticipated new edition contains the most up-to-date body of best practices knowledge available for improving and optimizing the performance of modern alarm systems. Many companies have achieved breakthrough results by following the principles contained in this book. It is an essential textbook to keep around and refer to regularly.
I had the privilege of writing the foreword for this second edition. I particularly enjoyed the practical quotations and real-world examples. In my opinion, future control systems will become self-optimizing, reducing the need for operator intervention. And the systems will be trained to incorporate the knowledge of the operator, or least trigger access to this knowledge.
Here are review clips from the 5-star reviews of this book on Amazon.com:
Jim Pinto Speaking engagementsMy trips in the past months have put a crimp on my regular speaking engagements. I can't possibly do a speech in Portland, while I'm crossing the canal in Panama, holidaying in Helsinki, or bucket-listing in Bermuda.
Hey, I'll appreciate your involvement. If you have heard me speak, please include a testimonial on Speakerwiki:
I enjoy my speaking engagements. All my knowledge, background, experience and insights are focused on delivering a valuable message to a receptive audience. It stimulates the juices! Some of my best thinking comes while I'm delivering a speech, and in the Q&A and personal interactions that follow.
During the past couple of years, I have spoken at events all over the country and the world. I've visited Australia, England, France, Germany, South Africa, India. And, of course, several major cities in the US and Canada.
The more I travel and speak, the more insights it gives me into the variety of ideas and experiences that relate to the places I visit, the people I meet, and the variety of topics we discuss. It stimulates my eclecticism.
If your company is organizing a conference, sales meeting or industry gathering, I'd like to be considered as your keynote speaker. I'll help you pick a subject to suit your meeting theme. Here are some of my favorite topics:
eFeedbackMichael A. Marullo [MAM@oncfari.com] sent this in response to my recent column, "Automation Creativity Sleeps":
"There is plenty of opportunity and plenty of room for innovation. A lot of what we'll need to solve our energy issues on a permanent basis doesn't exist - yet. For example, more than 2/3 of the turbines in any wind farm are inoperable, mostly due to inability to control the turbines during highly variable wind conditions.
"When we look for solutions to solve our energy problems, the vast majority of technologies have been around for at least 20 years or more: Wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, bio-fuels, wave power, hydro, high-tech diesels.
"The reality is, the power industry has an aging workforce (Baby Boomers retiring) and a declining infrastructure. By far the most common and most available remedies to meet and overcome these challenges are Automation related.
"The real solutions - the game changing technologies that can completely change the status quo - have probably not yet been invented. And my bet is that they will require automation. Lots of it. So let's get to work - the future awaits!
"American companies are not un-competitive; we are not allowed to play on the same field. While US manufacturers must respect the precepts of responsible business practices (like not poisoning workers and the environment) business in China is the wild, wild far East... Anything goes - unless you get caught. The truth about manufacturing in China is that there is no respect for intellectual property, no respect for patents (sure, you can make a bundle if you never spend a dime on R&D), no respect for workers, human health & worker safety.
"I agree business should be allowed to expand globally, but the same rules must apply to all, or the profiteers will cut corners on safety, creating dangers we will all need to deal with.
"As a career manufacturing guy who started out in the trenches as a tool/mold maker, I have seen the decline in my industry and the effect it has had on people. This is somewhat of a hot-button for me. It is encouraging to see the unifying developments recently within the mold-building community and the attempts to gain a voice in government.
"I spend a good deal of time each day working on the question you posed: 'What can we do about it?' I have studied and embrace lean manufacturing and continually review every process, to drive out waste, increase quality and productivity.
"Unfortunately there has been little action by the government. The real reason manufacturing has moved off shore is the shortsighted government policy of allowing tax credits for companies who outsource for profit."
"You can't have a few bright people living high on the hog if you deny others a chance to climb up the ladder. The Roman Republic learned this 2000 years ago. I'm amazed that nobody in the government even notices there is a problem here.
"I'm not sure that the solution is to start a trade war by taxing imports as Grove suggests, though I'm tempted to agree with him. One thing the government should do is to stop deliberately tripping up our businesses. The corporate tax rate in the US is now higher than any other industrialized country (except Japan, which is cutting theirs).
"In the absence of a solution, we should be awfully scared. To quote Andy Grove, 'Only the paranoid survive.'"
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