Product of the Year -- Tips for a better entry


Overview | Entry form (PDF) | Rules for entering
2007 Product of the Year / Tips for a better entry
Here are a few pointers to help you make sure your entry has the best possible chance of becoming a finalist -- and a winner. These will help you avoid some of the problems we've seen in many years of competition.
1. Enter early. Each year, we receive some entries with a fatal flaw: some information is missing or misleading, the illustration is not suitable for publication, the entry form isn't signed, etc. For early entries, we try to notify the entrant of the problem so it can be corrected. But as the entry deadline comes closer, time runs out. So entering early gives you a margin of safety.
2. Remember that judges review only the material you submit.
Our screening judges who select the 150 finalists from all of the entries make their evaluations only on the materials you send with your entry. You can't expect them to have any knowledge of your specific product other than the information you send. So put your best foot forward, and include any and all information that will help them make an informed decision. Submitting video tapes, computer disks, or product samples won't help, however, because the judges will be reviewing only printed materials.
3. Include Illustrations in brochures and most other preprinted materials can't be used for publication in Plant Engineering magazine. And amateurish or poor-quality illustrations won't make the impression you want -- if they do get published. Even products that aren't very colorful look better in a high-quality color photo than in black and white. And remember that we can't do any touching up or other special processing; what you send is what we use. Digital files must be submmitted on CD, 300 dpi or higher; low-resolution jpg files are not acceptable. We will not accept submissions by email.
4. Emphasize the benefits and usefulness of your product. Just listing a lot of product specifications won't help a judge who isn't already intimately familiar with your product. Describe how the product's features solve a real-world problem, save money, or offer advantages. And put this information right up front in your product description. If it's buried several paragraphs down, a judge may not see it or realize its importance. Your job is to convince the judges that they should have your product in their plants. If your product is selected as a finalist, this information will help our editors prepare the published description. 5. Support claims with facts. Don't just say your product is faster, better, more efficient, or easier to use; explain why and by how much.
6. Enter only products that are truly new, innovative, and useful.
Each year, we must disqualify some products that are just older products with a new coat of paint or have a different knob or are made from a different material. We've even had repeat entries of products that were entered in previous years. And there's always someone who enters a 'new' product accompanied by a brochure that's a couple of years old. Be sure to explain why your product qualifies as 'new.'
7. Make sure your entry is complete. The rules are clear. Read them carefully, and double check that all required materials are included, that all information is provided, and that the official entry form is signed. Go to Rules .
8. Be honest. If the judges have reason to believe that you've provided any misleading or false information, your entry will be disqualified, no questions asked. Don't invent introductory dates, names of divisions or subsidiaries, or any other information. Unless your company is the sole source for a product, don't claim a product manufactured by someone else as your own.
9. Call if you have a question. We'll be happy to provide you any assistance we can. We may not be able to give you a definitive answer -- after all, we're not the judges -- but we can help with interpretation of the rules and many other questions you might have. Contact Pat Mustari at 630-288-8775.
10. Don't ask for a deadline extension or other special considerations. There is adequate time for you to prepare your entry and send it to us before the deadline. And granting an extension or any other special consideration is unfair to those who respected the rules.
Send Entry Fee and all materials to:
Product of the Year
2000 Clearwater Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Overview | Entry form Rules for entering

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
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.
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me