Meet the 2010 Product of the Year finalists

This year’s finalists attacked some of the most pressing issues in manufacturing – energy efficiency, plant floor maintenance, automation systems and safety. Those four core principles of effective manufacturing are also four of the toughest areas for many manufacturers to address. This year, our Product of the Year Finalists make those tasks just that much easier.


Genius, in the words of Thomas Edison, is “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.”

We know Edison would have found a lot of genius in the 2010 Plant Engineering Product of the Year Finalists this year. The goal of most of the perspiration that went into their creation is to reduce the perspiration of plant managers, plant engineers and manufacturing leaders everywhere.

This year’s finalists attacked some of the most pressing issues in manufacturing – energy efficiency, plant floor maintenance, automation systems and safety. Those four core principles of effective manufacturing are also four of the toughest areas for many manufacturers to address. This year, our Product of the Year Finalists make those tasks just that much easier.

Product of the Year is really a two-part exercise for our readers. They have equal importance, but to different segments of the industry.

First, the voting for the best of these innovation products in each of our 13 categories is now under way. Qualified readers of Plant Engineering – the people in manufacturing responsible to buy, specify and recommend manufacturing solutions – have been sent the official ballot. Only those ballots from Plant Engineering readers who have this buy/specify responsibility will be counted. This ensures that the people who vote on the products are also the people who use the products.

The products earning the most votes in these categories will be presented the Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies at the 2011 Manufacturing/Automation Summit on March 21 in Chicago. The one product receiving the highest number of overall votes will receive the 2010 Grand Award, won in 2009 by Fluke Corp.

Innovation is not just about awards, though. Regardless of who wins the Product of the Year awards, one thing all the finalist companies agree on is that if they have created useful products that advance the cause of manufacturing innovation every day, they have already earned a prize from their customers.

To that end, we encourage readers to vote, but we also encourage them to view this year’s Product of the Year Finalists as a collection of innovation – a one-stop shop for the best ideas in manufacturing this year.

It’s an idea that is 100% genius with 0% perspiration. – Bob Vavra

2010 Product of the Year Categories

Automation and Controls                         Environment Health

Compressed Air                                       Safety

Maintenance Products                             Material Handling Systems

Electrical Power                                       Fluid Handling

Software                                                  HVAC

Maintenance Tools                                   Lighting

Manual Material Handling

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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