Why did you buy BrandX of automation ware?


Thread Starter

Paul Jager

On your last purchase of automation hardware or software, what were the reason(s) behind buying the brand that you selected?


Paul Jager, CEO
(250) 724-1402

Steve Myres, PE

Last project: Expanding existing system, had to match installed base.

Previous: Product was inexpensive, and was an excellent fit for the project requirements. (Provided all the abilities we needed, and few that would go unused, while still included in the cost.)

Before that: Customer referred by PLC manufacturer, so I guess I had better use their stuff.
The following reasons were behind my Companies decision to buy Wonderware for our last major Scada project.

1. Market share in the Pipeline Industry.
2. Proven installed base.
3. Wonderware's Ind. SQL Historian integrated with the HMI.
4. Local technical support.
5. Technical features of the Scada driver.. Protocol's supported, communication statistics,radio support, etc.
6. Web capability
7. Trained local system integration companies.

I hope this helps. We evaluated GE, Intellution, Citect, U.S. Data. All could do the project, but the Wonderware products represented the Lowest Total Cost of Ownership.
Hi Paul! How's things?

We are currently in the process of migrating from AB PLC equipment to Omron equipment. the reasons are many......

1. Omron costs less. As I heard one integrator say many years ago; "The thing about allen Bradley is that you might find something better, but you will never pay more for it."

2. Omron provides just a good a solution as AB. Years ago, AB was technically superior to the rest of the field. Sadly, Rockwell seems to have put a lower priority on new product design. I just don't feel that the extra expense is justified, when the products are not equivalently more capable.

3. Support. Actually, this was the biggest reason. Our local AB distributor never calls, never comes out, basically never services us as an account. I have met the guy once in 26 months with KEMET. And that was only because he was a sky diving buddy of my supervisor, and they were going out for lunch. Otherwise, he flat out ignores me. Also, I only need to mention Rockwell tech support. They have a reputation unto themselves for refusing service or being technically incapable of answering questions. Finally, the PITA that they threatened to make the next release of RSLogix. We are fully compliant (AFAIK) with our licensing, but they still are going to make it impossible to pass around one CD to do the upgrades. Next major release will require everyone to maintain a seperate Master Disk registration. This is only inconvenient in that it is harder to control our software licensing internally by not being able to keep it all in one location without an annoying check-out / check-in process.

By contrast, our Omron distributor is in regular contact with us, despite having had major surgery recently. The App engineers are more than happy to come out to visit and answer questions. What little I have used of their tech support has been helpful, plus I have direct dial numbers for engineers that can answer specific issues, ie: serial communications, etc. Rockwell just doesn't seem interested in providing this level of support anymore.

Lastly, I would mention that we would probably never have had the impetus to make the change if it were not for the ControlLogix platform. Since it is a fundamentally different system, we realized that it was probably a good time to re-evaluate our platform decision. Once we saw how much Omron had matured into a solid platform with useable tools (ie: No more evil LSS), the choice was obvious. Initial system pricing comparisons showed AB cost at roughly 230% of the Omron cost. With no compelling technology advantage, we could no longer justify the premium.

So we don't.

Hope this helped answer your question, Paul. In order of importance; Support, Quality, and Cost.

--Joe Jansen

Bob Peterson

In all cases it was because either the end user, OEM, or ourselves (the SI) had standardized on a specific product line.

Bob Peterson
I attended a seminar on WAGO and the product fit perfectly into a new project we are doing for one of our customers without strangling them with multiple license fees and fee-based tech support.
I would like to ask as to whether or not people consider National Instruments a valid "brand name" for automation ware? If so, how does it compare...
I am in consultancy & marketing simultaneously for automation product & hence it is difficult job for me either side of the business. But one thing is common, I buy & sell the technology or product based on the concept of design of the product & from that you have to predict future developement in the product survival of architecture & stability.

Till date i have bought lot of products , which were just introduced & without looking at market segment made the decision & are very happy with

I am extremely sorry for giving you non-conventional reply.
I used to do some work with an OEM who sometimes used LabView as an HMI (and I think sometimes for control, although I'm not sure whether it has that capability or not). This company had a fair amount of experience with it, and seemed to think it was a good product. While I have little or no such experience myself, I do know that their internal controls engineers were extremely sharp, so I'd take their endorsement seriously.
Joe Jansen wrote:
>Hi Paul! How's things? ...<clip><

We are doing well. Thanks for the feedback.

I think the industry will move toward the commodity sales model (Dell). Industry's traditional approach has been to give the personal service described below, but this is expensive. In addition, sales expenses such as
trade shows, print advertising, and travel costs eat away at the funds available for R&D.

On the one hand there is the need for engineering and innovation, but on the other hand the larger deals get done by taking care of or activating the
emotional side of the buyer.

This is a quote taken from Jim Pinto's website about Rockwell.

"In my opinion - if Rockwell wants to see a turnaround, stop hiring salesmen to run an engineering company."


The challenge, of course, is to make sure you don't go too far down the commodity path. I would never have left the AB platform, except that the support was so poor from Rockwell, and so good from Omron. The AE's that came to help were the biggest influence on making the switch. If both had been following the commodity approach, there would not have been enough
differentiation to make the switch.

I agree with the quote for the most part. Too many sales people makes it impossible to get an answer from someone who knows the technical side. I do like hearing about new products from the sales guys, though, since it gives me an opportunity to keep up with what is new, and I can make design plans around the products they show me. I guess it comes down to the AE's
are geared towards solving an existing problem, while the sales guys are showing new products that may not have a use now, but could be just the thing 6 months from now.

--Joe Jansen