Spotlight on Innovation: 2021 Engineers’ Choice Awards
Control Engineering announces the best automation, control and instrumentation products in the 21 categories of the annual Engineers' Choice Awards program.
The 34th annual Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Awards shines a light on 21 categories of control, instrumentation and automation products, revealing the best of those introduced in 2020 as chosen by the Control Engineering print and digital audience. Review the winners and honorable mentions here to see if these innovative hardware and software products can help resolve some of your most pressing problems. (Interested in nominating your product for the 2022 program? Deadline is May 28.)
Also, join us in congratulating these technological innovators. Let them know you learned about their solutions in Control Engineering, and tell them what problems you need to resolve next. Their continuous improvement ensures that manufacturers, machine builders and automation system integrators can achieve the levels of agility, efficiency and effectiveness necessary to compete – and win – in today’s global economy.
A total of 88 finalists from 44 companies were listed on the ballot for evaluation. Automation professionals from Control Engineering’s subscriber lists – all of whom are responsible for or influence technology purchases, or have hands-on day-to-day interaction with the technologies in each category – then voted to identify the products they felt were the most exceptional based on technological advancement, service to the industry and market impact. The result is a short list of Engineers’ Choice Awards winners and honorable mentions in 21 categories. A total of 1 grand winner, 21 winners and 21 honorable mentions were named for 2021.
Control Engineering staff extends appreciation to all who nominated products and took the time to vote. Find more product innovations in the New Products for Engineers Database at www.controleng.com/NP4E.
2021 Engineers’ Choice Grand Award
The Grand Award – first introduced with the 2017 program – is bestowed upon the product that received the most overall votes in the 2021 program. This year’s Grand Award recipient is the Performance 360 process performance and optimization software from Symphony AzimaAI.
Performance 360 combines process condition insights, performance metrics and process history in one management application. Using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), carefully curated artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies, Performance 360 predicts how a process will perform and identify protential process distruptions, quality issues and trip conditions, with enough time to proactively avoid process trips, lost batches, decreased quality and lost revenue. Performance 360 templates are able to run processes online in weeks rather than months with large teams working on specific computations. The application continually adapts to the dynamics of the process using the AI engine.
2021 Engineers’ Choice Awards
Winners and Honorable Mentions by category
- Winner: Engineer-in-a-Box remote access device, Grantek, https://grantek.com
- Honorable Mention: GPAidentify V2 asset monitoring and cybersecurity software, GPA, global-business.net
- Hardware – HMI, Operator Interface, Thin-Client
- Hardware – Industrial PCs, CNCs
- Industrial Internet of Things Connectivity – Edge Controller
- Industrial Internet of Things Connectivity – Software
- Winner: TIA Portal V16 Step 7 with Version Control Interface, Siemens, usa.siemens.com
- Honorable Mention: FactoryTalk Linx Gateway V6.2 control design software, Rockwell Automation, rockwellautomation.com
- Machine & Embedded Control – PLCs
- Machine Vision, Code Readers, Discrete Sensors
- Motion Control
- Winner: Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix 5380 SIL 3 controller, Rockwell Automation, rockwellautomation.com
- Honorable Mention: EP7402 EtherCAT Box, Beckhoff Automation, beckhoffautomation.com
- Motion Control – Drives
- Winner: Simplified Motion Series electric drive, Festo, festo.com/us
- Honorable Mention: Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 6000T medium voltage drive, Rockwell Automation, rockwellautomation.com
- Motion Control – Drives, Servo
- Network Integration – Ethernet Hardware, Switches
- Winner: Allen-Bradley ControlLogix EtherNet/IP communication module, Rockwell Automation, rockwellautomation.com
- Honorable Mention: ET 200SP MultiFieldbus Interface Module IM155-6MF HF, Siemens, usa.siemens.com
- Network Integration – I/O Systems
- Power – Energy, Power Protection
- Power Supply, UPS
- Process Control – Process Sensors, Transmitters
- Process Control Systems
- Winner: Plant PAx 5.0 distributed control system, Rockwell Automation, rockwellautomation.com
- Honorable Mention: Experion PKS Highly Integrated Virtual Environment, Honeywell Process Solutions, honeywellprocess.com/en-US
- Safety – Machine Safety
- Winner: Simatic ET 200eco PN F-DI 8 x 24 VDC fail-safe module, Siemens, usa.siemens.com
- Honorable Mention: Safety Light Curtain with Bluetooth interface, Schmersal, schmersalusa.com
- Software – Asset Management, Reporting
- Winner: TIA Selection Tool V2020.8 device configuration software, Siemens, usa.siemens.com
- Honorable Mention: FactoryTalk AssetCentre V10 asset management software, Rockwell Automation, rockwellautomation.com
- Software – Control Design
- Winner: TIA Portal Test Suite Advanced V16 programming software, Siemens, usa.siemens.com
- Honorable Mention: Studio 5000 V33 design environment, Rockwell Automation, rockwellautomation.com
- Software – Data Analytics
- Winner: Seeq R22 advanced analytics for process manufacturing, Seeq Corp., seeq.com
- Honorable Mention: Movicon Pro.Lean 4.0 analytics software, Progea North America Corp., progea.com
- Software – HMI Software
How to enter the competition
Get a head start on the 2022 Engineers’ Choice Awards program by listing your products in the New Products for Engineers database and completing the entry form on the Awards Programs tab of your company’s vendor/manufacturer profile. Deadline is May 28, 2021. All product nominations, including supporting materials and payment, are conveniently submitted through the database. Submit a new or significantly modified hardware, software or combination of the two introduced and available in North America from November 2020 through October 2021 for the 2022 awards. The product details provided should be factually convincing and clearly differentiate benefits in the voting criteria: technological advancement, service to the industry and market impact. (Hint: We observe that engineers often appreciate quantified benefits more than adjectives.) Typically, 85 to 120 products are nominated, with 3 to 10 products in each category. One winner from each subcategory is selected based on subscriber votes. For the 2021 awards, 94 products from 44 companies (or major divisions) were nominated in 21 categories, resulting in one Grand Award to one company (with the highest number of votes among all categories), 21 Engineers’ Choice Awards to 12 companies (highest number of votes in that category) and 21 Honorable Mentions to 16 companies (second highest number of votes in that category).