Product of the Year: Official rules

Official rules for the 2016 Product of the Year program, including how to enter, voting eligibility, and program schedule.

Updated: 01/08/2017


Entry deadline: Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 (5 p.m. CT) — EXTENDED to Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 (5 p.m. CT)

About the Product of the Year program

Plant Engineering's Product of the Year (POY) program is the premier award for new products in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries. The annual reader-choice program provides Plant Engineering's audience with information about the top new product in their fields. 2016 will mark 29 years of the POY program.

2016 Product of the Year program schedule

  • Mar. 22, 2016: Entries open
  • Sept. 2, 2016: Entry deadline
    • Extended to Sept. 9, 2016
  • Sept. 19, 2016: Finalists notified via email regarding status
  • Nov. 10, 2016: Finalists announced and voting begins
    • Finalists featured in the November 2016 issue of Plant Engineering
  • Dec. 30, 2016: Voting closes
    • Extended to Jan. 6, 2017
  • Jan. 12, 2017: Winners notified via email regarding status
  • Apr. 3, 2017: Winners announced at the annual Engineering Awards in Manufacturing Dinner in downtown Chicago
  • Apr. 4, 2017: Winners announced online at
    • Winners listed in the April 2017 issue of Plant Engineering

Entry form

All entries must be submitted using the official electronic entry form available at All information requested on the entry form must be provided. An incomplete form or a form providing misleading or false information will result in disqualification. The electronic entry form allows for a user to submit multiple products on one form; there is no limit on how many products one user/company may enter. An authorized representative of the manufacturer must complete the entry form verifying all information. Entries must be submitted on behalf of the original manufacturer or sole supplier. Requested information includes:

  • Contact information: This person will act as the main contact for any and all communications regarding the entry.
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Job title
    • Company name
    • Street address
    • Suite No. (if applicable)
    • City
    • State/Province
    • Zip/Postal code
    • Email address
    • Phone number
  • Product details: For improved accuracy, do not include special characters or symbols (®, ™, etc.) in any of the fields.
    • Product manufacturer: Enter the name of the manufacturer that makes the product.
    • Manufacturer URL: Enter the manufacturer's home page URL.
    • Product name: A product name should include only the official title of the product. It should not include division name, features, etc.
    • Model # (if applicable): A product model number should describe the unique term that will allow someone to identify this product.
    • Release date: This date should correspond to the date of the product's press release. (See Eligibility requirements for more information.)
    • Category: Select one (1) category that best represents the product. Plant Engineering reserves the right to edit the category names as needed and to move products to alternate categories when appropriate.
      • Apps for Engineers
        • Asset Management
        • Automation & Controls
        • Compressed Air
        • Electric Motors & Drives
        • Electrical Safety
        • Energy Management
        • Environmental Health
        • Fluid Handling
        • Lighting
        • Maintenance Software
        • Maintenance Tools & Equipment
        • Material Handling Systems
        • Plant Analytics
        • Productivity & Training
        • Safety
      • Product URL: The product URL should link directly to the specific product landing page on the manufacturer's website. This URL is for reference purposes only; it will not be published online or in print with the finalist listing.
      • Short description: Describe what the product is and does in 30 words or less.
      • Product summary: In 300 words or less, explain what makes this product unique and how it benefits the Plant Engineering audience.
    • Product images: Upload one (1) high-resolution, print-ready image of each product entered above. Images must be product photos—or a screenshot, if a software product—they cannot be just a logo. Do not add type or logos to the images. Images must be at least 1920 by 1440 px (4 by 5 in.), meet a 4:3 aspect ratio, and have a minimum of 300 dpi resolution. Images must be in .png, .jpg, or .tif format. One image per product will appear in print and online in conjunction with the product's description. If images do not meet these requirements they may appear blurry or out of proportion, or may be excluded from publication altogether.
      • File names should clearly state the product and manufacturer names.
    • Press releases: Upload one (1) official press release with proof of release date for each product entered above. Files must be in .pdf, .doc, or .docx format. Press releases are used as reference for internal purposes only. Plant Engineering will not publish the press release in print or online, but may use the file to assist in editing the product description for the finalist listing to be published. If the manufacturer did not issue a press release for the product, Plant Engineering will require a signed letter from the manufacturer stating the official release date; this letter may be uploaded below.
      • File names should clearly state the product and manufacturer names.

    Users are able to review their entered information prior to submitting the form. Upon submittal, the user is redirected to the Plant Engineering website to log-in and pay the processing fee. If payment is not received, entry will be void. See Entry fee for more information. Users will receive a confirmation email upon submission with a PDF copy of their entry for their records. If any corrections need to be made to an entry after submission, contact Amanda Pelliccione at or 631-320-0655, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

    Eligibility requirements

    Products entered into the 2016 POY program must meet the following criteria:

    • Products must have been made first available for purchase in the North American market between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016.
    • If the entry is a new version of a previously available product, the entry must represent a major modification or redesign of the product. New versions of software must offer new capabilities and significant enhancements.
    • Products must be available for purchase in the United States.
    • All information fields on the entry form are completed and accurate regarding the product and the manufacturer.

    Entry fee

    The processing fee (i.e. entry fee) for the 2016 POY program is $495.00 per product entered. If payment is not received, entry will be void. Only credit card payments are accepted; Plant Engineering will not invoice or bill entrants for the POY program. If you experience an issue when trying to pay the fee online, call Amanda Pelliccione to submit payment over the phone. Amanda can be reached at 631-320-0655, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. A receipt will be automatically sent to the email address provided when logging into the website immediately after payment has been captured. If payment is not received by Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, entry will be null and void. No refunds will be issued; no exceptions.


    All entries that meet the eligibility requirements are named Finalists. Finalists receive an official Finalist logo to use in marketing efforts promoting their status to customers. Finalists are featured in the November 2016 issue of Plant Engineering and on the website mid-November. The Finalist listing remains on the website indefinitely.

    The descriptions published for each Finalist are written/edited/copy-edited by Plant Engineering and average 100 words per product. Descriptions are based upon the description, summary, and press release provided with each product. Reviews of descriptions are not available to entry contacts or manufacturers. Once published in print, descriptions cannot be edited, even online. The website URL included with a Finalist description will direct readers to the manufacturer’s website, not to the product listed on the manufacturer’s website directly.

    Based on the voting results (see Voting for more information), each category will have a declared Gold, Silver, and Bronze winner. In the event of a tie, it is possible for more than one Gold, Silver, or Bronze winner to be awarded in a category. The Grand title is awarded to the product that receives the most votes. All winners receive an official Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Grand logo to use in marketing efforts promoting their status. Winners are listed in the April 2017 issue of Plant Engineering and on the website mid-March. The Winner listing remains on the website indefinitely.


    Voting is only open to qualified subscribers of Plant Engineering products (magazine—print or digital, e-newsletters, white papers, etc.). Qualified subscribers are encouraged to vote in as many categories for which they are qualified based on technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact. One (1) ballot per qualified subscriber will be accepted; multiple ballots from the same qualified subscriber will be invalid. Ballots received from non-qualified subscribers will be invalid. Employees of product manufacturers with a finalist in the current program and their properties, agencies, vendors, and representatives are not eligible to vote; hence any votes received by these parties will not be counted toward the final tally.

    Program contacts

    Questions regarding the 2016 POY program should be directed to Amanda Pelliccione, Project Manager, at or 631-320-0655, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

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