2016 Product of the Year Finalists

View the 114 Finalists across 15 categories; cast your vote for the 2016 Product of the Year


Manufacturing improvement is not an event; it’s a process. You’re not good one day and great the next day. Improving your manufacturing operation does require the realization that there are better ideas out there that can help you run your facility smarter, safer and more efficiently. Reaching those goals doesn’t happen without a plan, and without a sense of what needs to be improved.

There are so many channels today to learn about ways to improve in manufacturing, and one of the most efficient and effective is sitting in your hands right now.

Meet the 2016 Plant Engineering Product of the Year Finalists.

Listed below, you’ll see more than 100 products in 15 categories—everything from the latest in automation to the best new ideas in maintenance and motors. Some of the product areas may not always be top of mind, but the innovations here are important. For example:

  • Want to improve lighting efficiency? We have 10 entrants for this year’s award, all of them offering the latest LED technology, which can help save money and improve visibility in your plant.

  • Interesting in better fluid management in your facility? We’ve got eight products that offer accurate management and measurement of all kinds of liquids.

  • The maintenance tools and maintenance systems can help you reduce costs and improve uptime, and that can deliver savings to your bottom line and efficiency to your operation.

The products themselves are one step in the improvement process, though. What Product of the Year offers each year is a fresh chance to compare the great innovations in manufacturing products against your own operational goals. These products may provide a better way to do something, or they may mark a quantum leap for your plant. It may require a simple change, or a wholesale overhaul to get the most of these new product ideas.

What do you need? Think about it. That is what Product of the Year asks of you each year. Industry suppliers have spent their time listening to their customers to understand how manufacturers want to improve their operation, and they present solutions to meet those needs. What follows here are the fruits of those efforts.

Now comes your part of the process. Manufacturers should look at these wonderful new ideas, benchmark them against their own operation, and think about how best to improve their own plant.

It is a cyclical process: More innovation brings more improvement, but since manufacturers constantly strive to improve, they will look for more innovation to continue that improvement. It is in that spirit that for the 29th year, Plant Engineering offers its roster of Product of the Year finalists for your use, and for your vote. Voting is now under way for this year’s Product of the Year awards, so consider these products carefully and cast your vote for those products you feel are the best of the best for 2016.


The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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