Click on the above link to see Product of the Year finalists in this category.



Note to our readers: Product of the Year finalists are listed below. To view the products, please


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Gas monitor has loud alarm



The Screamer is a portable gas monitor that has a loud buzzer (100dB) to alert the user of unsafe conditions. The single-gas monitor is available for ammonia (NH 3 ), carbon monoxide (CO), chlorine (Cl 2 ), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ), oxygen (O 2 ), phosphene (PH 3 ), or sulfur dioxide (S0 2 ). The diffusion-style monitor comes with long and short-term exposure limit readings and peak hold. Thermo GasTech;




For more information, write 12 on card


Mount simplifies sensor installation

The Whirligig is a three-in-one target/bracket/guard that significantly simplifies and improves the installation of industry standard cylindrical or DIN inductive proximity sensors. The sensor bolts to the base plate and the complete assembly bolts to the machine shaft. The dual target and sensor become one assembly. 4B Components Ltd.;




For more information, write 36 on card


Status indicator displays four colors/patterns

Unistat is an LED status indicator that features four colors and four flash patterns from a single light source. The indicator displays red, amber, green, and blue through a single lens. It also displays steady burn, slow flash, strobe flash, and a strobe that simulates the flash rate of a strobe light with a color-rich output. The user can customize the color/flash combinations to meet the requirements of the job.


Federal Signal Corp.;




For more information, write 34 on card


Instrument counts, classifies contaminant particles

LaserNet Fines is a preventive maintenance instrument for used oil analysis that combines wear and contaminant particle counting and shape classification in one unit. It applies laser imaging and artificial intelligence to classify objects into cutting wear, fatigue wear, sliding wear, oxides, water droplets, and nonferrous, thus reducing the need for particle classification by a highly trained expert. Lockheed-Martin/Spectro, Inc.;




For more information, write 44 on card


Tool detects more than vibration

Vibscanner is a data collector and machine diagnostic tool. Its integrated sensors measure machine temperature, RPM, vibration, shock pulse, bearing health, displacement and velocity, and pump cavitation. It can also measure process parameters and read inspection codes. Options for vibration spectrum and one or two-plane balancing are also available. Ludeca, Inc.;




For more information, write 35 on card


Handheld microscope outputs video

The HandiScope high-resolution, handheld microscope permits microscopic inspection nearly anywhere. The very high resolution CCD chip, unique packaging, lighting, and optics provide a superior quality microscopic image reproduction. It is 9-in. long, 2-in. in diameter, and weighs less than 1 lb. It is equipped with a 20X/50X selectable microscope lens, video output, video cable, image freeze capability, and a power adapter. Innovative Data Communications;




For more information, write 153 on card


Laser range meter stores 1000 measurements

The PD 25 laser range meter has an accuracy ofreliable horizontal measurements. Hilti;




For more information, write 144 on card


Vibrating clamp meter measures amps, volts, resistance

The 700 Series 200-amp clamp meters have a streamlined shape, integral lead storage, silicone leads, and a Category III 600-V rating. The 61-701 meter includes an audible high-voltage warning and a noncontact voltage (NCV) feature in the tip of the clamp. The 61-702 includes the NCV feature, a vibration mode (vibrates when ac is present), and a harmonics indicator. Ideal Industries, Inc.;




For more information, write 186 on card


Sensor detects water contamination

MS100 moisture sensor detects water contamination in operating systems before it becomes free water. Results are reported as a percent saturation. The sensor is designed to provide real-time measurement of water at or below the oil's saturation point. It works with petroleum, synthetic, hydraulic, and lubricating fluids. A blue LED indcates when the oil's water concentration exceeds 80% saturation, while triggering a TTL-compatible output. Parker Hannifin Corp., Hydraulic Filter Div.; www.parker/




For more information, write 199 on card


Temperature sensor fits into tight places

The OS100 series noncontact infrared temperature sensor and transmitter system includes a remotely mounted infrared temperature sensor and a high performance microprocessor-based signal conditioner. It features a 0-1000 F measurement range; adjustable emissivity from 0.1 to 1.0; type K thermocouple, 0 to 5 Vdc, 4 to 20 mA, or 1 mV/deg analog output models, and a built in LED display. OMEGA Engineering, Inc.;




For more information, write 219 on card


Infrared thermometer rated intrinsically safe

ST80-IS ProPlus noncontact infrared thermometer can be used in dangerous, potentially explosive, or flammable environments. It features a sealed battery compartment to prevent sparks, a distance-to-spot ratio of 50:1, rubber overmolding, a laser sighting system that estimates the measured area, data logging capabilities, and a probe jack to verify temperature measurements. Raytek Corp., Portable Products Div.;




For more information, write 184 on card


Pressure calibrator sources voltage and current

The PC6-PRO pressure calibrator sources voltage and current, and calibrates pressure sensors from vacuum to 15,000 psi. The calibrator simultaneously shows pressure vs. voltage, current, date and time, percentage of pressure, pressure switch status, temperature, and maximum or minimum pressure values. Data can be logged and stored with time and date stamping. Voltage and current sourcing can be continuous, step, or square root functions. TTI, Inc.;




For more information, write 237 on card


Mass flowmeter replaces three transmitters

The Mass ProPlate flowmeter has an integral orifice and a multivariable transmitter. By combining integrated electronics with integral orifice technology, one flowmeter replaces three transmitters, a DP primary, plumbing, and piping. It measures differential pressure, static pressure, and process temperature, and dynamically calculates mass flow with one device. Less programming is required. Rosemount Inc., Dieterich Standard;




For more information, write 223 on card


PDA calibrator has no buttons

The 3-PMF1 is a self-documenting, nultifunction PDA calibrator that creates a calibration database as the technician calibrates, with no prepopulation required. The calibrator sources and reads mA, voltage, thermocouples, and RTDs. Interchangeable pressure modules permit pressure transmitter calibration. The PDA unit is the user interface, as screen touchpoints replace the knobs and buttons used on traditional calibrators. Transmation Products Group;




For more information, write 232 on card


Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
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.
February 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
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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