Product of the Year Awards Finalists

With this year's competition, Plant Engineering enters its second decade of awarding the prestigious "Product of the Year Award" to the most innovative and useful new products in the plant engineering marketplace.


With this year's competition, Plant Engineering enters its second decade of awarding the prestigious "Product of the Year Award" to the most innovative and useful new products in the plant engineering marketplace. More than 1000 products have been honored so far, and this year, we offer 150 more candidates for "Product of the Year."

To be a winner in this competition, a product must have been made available for purchase between October 1, 1997, and September 30, 1998; be new to the world market; and be useful in the plant engineering function.

A winning product doesn't have to be "high-tech" or difficult to understand. In fact, most of our winners have been practical, functional, and just plain handy to have around. Past Grand Award winners include a welding helmet, wrench, and portable stand-up light. To qualify as a winner, the product just has to make your job easier.

And now, we need you!

Our panel of experts has narrowed down the field, but now we need you to help us select the winners. The product receiving the highest number of votes wins the Grand Award. Additionally, each category honors Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners. After looking through our finalists on the following pages, please fill out the ballot located next to p 51 to help us select the best new products of 1998.

This year's competition offers 15 categories of plant engineering products that can help you perform your job more efficiently. The categories are Electrical Power; Electric Motors, Drives, and Controls; Lighting; Construction, Buildings, and Grounds; Fluid Handling; Compressed Air; Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning; Power Transmission; Maintenance Tools and Equipment; Maintenance Products; Environment, Safety, and Health; Control Equipment; Instruments; Material Handling, and General and Maintenance Software.

Trophies are presented to the winners at a special reception during the National Plant Engineering MRO & Management Show in Chicago. Winners from this competition will be honored March 15, 1999.

Ballots postmarked by December 15, 1998, will be entered in a special prize drawing. Only original ballots will be accepted. Additional balloting rules are listed on the next page.

The Judges

Our four "Product of the Year" judges performed the initial screening of all the entries to choose the 150 finalists on the following pages. Finalists were selected based upon their usefulness, innovation, and application.

William J. Meeks, PE Consultant

William J. Meeks & Assoc.

Rick Kegel Plant Engineer

ABB Industrial Systems

Robert E. Coulter Maintenance Supervisor

Ideal Industries, Inc.

Pete Gilbert Plant Engineer

Level Valley Creamery

You could win a prize just by voting for your choices in the 11th annual Plant Engineering "Product of the Year" competition.

We will award a $100 prize to each of 10 lucky voters. Winners will be selected by random drawing from ballots we receive postmarked by December 15, 1998.

Mail your ballot before December 15!

Product balloting and prize drawing rules

1. Vote for five products by writing in the appropriate voting number appearing with each item.

2. No more than one ballot may be submitted by an individual. Only original ballots will be accepted.

3. All complete ballots postmarked by December 15, 1998, will be entered in a random drawing for the $100 prizes.

4. Employees of Cahners Business Information and its agencies are not eligible.

5. In the event a prize is not available, Plant Engineering may substitute an alternative prize of equal value without prior notice.

6. Contest is void where prohibited or taxed by law. Liabilities for any taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the winners.

7. All decisions made by the editors or publisher of Plant Engineering magazine on the administration of this contest are final.

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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.

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