cloud Growth & Success eNews No. 289, 12 Jan. 2011 - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 289 : 12 January 2011

Keeping an eye on technology futures.
Business commentary - no hidden agendas.
New attitudes, no platitudes.

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CONTROL Top-50 List

The 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.

North America
Rank$M Rank$M
Siemens 110,858 41,146
ABB 2 8,2693 1,711
Emerson 3 6,6031 2,971
Rockwell 44,237 22,201
Schneider 53,771 6964
Honeywell 63,026 5999
Omron 72,816 13366
Yokogawa 82,745 15306
Danaher 92,658 8877
Mitsubishi 102,484 29123
GE 111,876 7934
Invensys IOM 121,773 9585
Ametek 191,147 10585

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:

  • National Instruments falls back a bit, at #27, $676 M global. The company is growing well in 2010 - revenue $824M.
  • Phoenix Contact #14 at $1,332M globally - now more than double the size of its old competitor Weidmuller which has fallen to #26 at $561M.
  • Beckhoff is #45 at $332M globally, but just an honorable mention on the N. America list at $33M. I'm informed that the company grew globally to $450M in 2010, a growth of +46% vs. 2009.
  • OSIsoft was #34 at $84M on the N. American ranking, and got just an honorable mention on the global list at $162M.
  • Mini-conglomerates (bag of smaller, acquired companies):
    • Ametek jumped to #10 in N. America ($585M), and is #19 ($1,147M) globally;
    • Spectris #16 ($1.2B) global, and #16 ($284M) in N. America;
    • Roper ($536M #31) global, #14 N. America $359M.
  • OPTO-22 got an honorable mention at $90M worldwide revenues.
Anyway, take a look for yourself at the CONTROL Top-50 article. For an independent analysis, read "Automation Insider".

Click Automation's Reset -
The Whole Sorry Story and Some Light at the End of the Tunnel

Click Top-50 Global Automation List

Click Top-50 N. America Automation List

Click Analysis by Automation Insider

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Pinto Prognostications 2011

After 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:

  • Control Systems Security:
    After the July 2010 Stuxnet attack, automation systems security has become a critical issue. Security chips will now be in every switch port. Expect lots of new security-related offerings.
  • Industrial wireless:
    Some of the automation majors report sizeable wireless-related revenues, but these include accessories and support products and services; no large coups to brag about. Hopefully, the initial success will stimulate wider usage in larger projects this year.
  • Cloud-computing:
    This new arena is burgeoning in business environments. Even in industrial environments, growth is starting to emerge because of the growing burden of technology obsolescence, plus continuing support for rapidly changing software. All but the most critical components will be run "in the cloud".
  • Diagnostics:
    Embedded operating information and diagnostics will be included in more new automation products and systems. Self-diagnostics will migrate into lower cost products, and will become an "expected" standard feature.
  • Consumer Technology Adaptations:
    In a down market, with tight budgets, companies will look for adaptations beyond the same-old, same-old tweaks and extensions. iPad, iPhone and Droid apps will appear as new features and functions in many automation products. More diagnostics and service functions will be accessible via mobile phones.
The sleeping giants - robotics, vision, complex adaptive systems - continue to doze, with discernable, but still only incremental advances.

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.

Click Automation World (Jan. 2011) - Pinto's Prognostications 2011

Click Stuxnet is a game-changing, weaponized computer-virus

Click Pinto picks for 2010 top-5 automation technologies

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2011 Consumer Electronics Show

The 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:

  1. 4G (4th generation wireless) is here
  2. Smartphone functionality overtaking notebooks
  3. Tablets are coming (following 7.5 million iPads)
  4. 3D is coming (camcorders, games)
  5. The auto industry is serious about electric cars
  6. Business is starting to rebound
Once again, the big consumer-tech markets are the beacon that will lead the way to economic growth.

Click 2011 International CES Wows World with Innovation and Optimism

Click Watch any or all of the Keynote speeches online

Click Best of CES Awards: CNET Winners

Click CES Wrap-Up: What Small Business Needs to Know

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The Alarm Management Handbook

This 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

  • Nicholas Sands, Dupont, USA:
    "Hollifield and Habibi have performed a service to the automation industry by publishing the first book in many years to address the area of alarm management, and the most complete work on the subject to date."
  • Les Ward, Omaha, Nebraska, USA:
    "We have only recently finished writing our own alarm philosophy document from scratch. I wish this book had come out sooner. I appreciate the compilation of data and years of experience that have been summarized in this work. Great job!"

Click Review & buy Alarm Management Handbook on

Click Visit PAS - The company that maps your "Automation Genome"

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Jim Pinto Speaking engagements

My 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:

Click Recommend Jim Pinto 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:

  • Global Automation Technology Futures
  • High-value Manufacturing in the Global environment
  • Manufacturing Technology in a Changing World
Here are links you can browse, or forward to your meeting planners.

Click Pinto Testimonials and recent speaking events

Click Jim Pinto at TEDxDelMar - Chindia - The rise of China & India

Click Jim Pinto - Speech Cameo clips (3 minutes)

Click Jim Pinto - 1 minute sales pitch (video)

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Michael A. Marullo [] sent this in response to my recent column, "Automation Creativity Sleeps":
    "Even as the traditional automation suppliers struggle, the power grid is embarking on a renaissance - the 'Smart Grid'. This will require billions, if not trillions of investment and development over the coming decades.

    "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!

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Jim Czarnecki [] has this practical view of competitive manufacturing in the USA:

    "I have worked in many plants in the USA, Japan and Europe and am willing to pit my USA workers against any group of workers in a competitive market. As a fact of life, they do just that on a daily basis.

    "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."

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Bob Fritz [] had this to say about America's unemployment malaise:

    "It was good to see Andy Grove commenting about what I think is permanent high level joblessness in this country, together with a permanent underclass that will develop.

    "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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