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The top most used PLC systems around the world
We are going to greatly extend the number of different PLCs simulated in our educational software. What types and brands of PLC are most used in different parts of the world?
By Johan Bengtsson on 26 January, 2000 - 3:21 pm

Hello list

We are going to greatly extend the number of different PLC:s simulated in our educational softwares. My question is really simple: What types and brands of PLC is most used in different
parts of the world?

(Don't forget to mention what part of the world you are talking about, I don't know where all of you are from...)

/Johan Bengtsson
P&L, the Academy of Automation
Box 252, S-281 23 H{ssleholm SWEDEN
Tel: +46 451 49 460, Fax: +46 451 89 833

By Weir, Bryan on 27 January, 2000 - 9:26 am


We had this thread a few months ago. Does anyone have a note of the previous

In the UK Allen-Bradley is probably the most widely used PLC. Siemens and
Mitsubishi are also very common.


Bryan Weir.

By Neil Jepsen on 27 January, 2000 - 2:56 pm

In New Zealand, AB and Omron. ( My opinion)
neil J

Here in northwest BC, A-B has the sawmill market pretty well cornered - thats 40 larger mills, 100 small ones. The exception is the smelter I work in, which uses Modicon, almost exclusively,
a few GE 9030s, and four Slc 100s.

Regards to the List! Rick..............

By Jack Gallagher on 27 January, 2000 - 3:58 pm

I think these are as follows:

Allen Bradley


I am unsure of the rest of the world or if I am correct at all. Just what I have noticed.

Jack Gallagher
3 Vision Drive
Natick, MA 01760
Phone: (508) 650-9147
Fax: (508) 650-9310

By David Lawton Mars on 27 January, 2000 - 4:47 pm

From my experience the 2 most popular are Allen Bradley and Siemens, in that order.
Mitsubishi is also fairly popular here in the UK and I've come across a few Modicon PLC's too.

By Kevin Yates (Manchester) on 28 January, 2000 - 10:37 am

Just for interest. Rockwell in the UK claim to have 39% of the market.


Kevin Yates
Wormald Control Systems

By Vijaysinh Kadam on 28 January, 2000 - 2:04 pm


I know that following are the PLC's used in US.

1. AB
2. Omron
3. Mitsubishi
4. Siemens

I have heard about use of Siemens PLC's in India.


Vijay Kadam
Automation Engineer
Mitta Technology Group
The Newest Division of
Work Ph # (408) 745 0500 Ext. 310
Home Ph # (408) 297 3063

By Vijaysinh L Jadeja on 31 January, 2000 - 1:09 pm

Siemens PLCs are also widely used for power plants and cement industries.

By Peter Kosin on 1 February, 2000 - 9:50 am

IMHO it is safe to say that the most used PLCs are Allen Bradley in the US, Siemens in Europe and
Mitsubishi in Asia. They all boast >40% market shares in their respective areas. Other common PLCs would include Modicon, Telemecanique, Omron ...

Peter Kosin

Process control engineer
INEA d.o.o.

By Martin Karlin on 2 February, 2000 - 12:05 pm

Hello List,
I'm in Italy an alls that we see is SIEMENS. Maybe its because FIAT at some stage, I believe, had a lot of shares in Siemens, but if the factory is connected in some way to FIAT, its SIEMENS you'll find. I've seen some AB's but they're mostly on US supplied machinery.

By Roger Irwin on 8 February, 2000 - 4:12 pm

> I'm in Italy an alls that we see is SIEMENS. Maybe its because FIAT at some
> stage, I believe, had a lot of shares in Siemens, but if the factory is
> connected in some way to FIAT, its SIEMENS you'll find.

Perhaps it also has to do with the Italian mentality that German products are great. That's why GM and Ford try to present themselves as German car manufacturers in the Italian market! Ironicly a lot of German badged products (such as Siemens washing machines) are in fact Italian products with German branding.

> I've seen some AB's
> but they're mostly on US supplied machinery.

At the electricians end (simple PLC's, counters ecc.) there is also a lot of OMRON stuff, but yes, nearly all automation seems to be SIEMENS. They are not so keen on the drives, ABB are very popular, and I was rather suprised to find out that there is a big ABB servomotor plant just down the road from me in Asti. This would appear to be 'contratendenza'!

By Michael Johnson on 15 February, 2000 - 1:15 pm

It seems to me that if you are doing work in Europe and Central America, then Siemens is the norm. If you work here in the states, A-B is the norm with Square-D and Modicon coming in at a close second. However, Siemens is found all around the world while A-B/Rockwell is localized in North America and very small parts of Central America and the Caribbean. Hence, I think Siemens is number one in the world, not Rockwell.

By Michael Sullivan on 2 February, 2000 - 1:48 pm

The top PLCs used in the world are as follows based on market share:

1. Siemens
2. Schneider Electric
3. Rockwell

North America
1. Rockwell
2. Schneider Electric
3. Siemens

1. Siemens
2. Rockwell
3. Schneider Electric

Mitsubishi has the leading market share in Japan and many other Asian countries.
Schneider Electric, Rockwell, and Siemens also have a strong prescence in Asia.

Are you presenting this as fact or opinion? If fact, what's the source of these rankings.

Mike Ryan
Aerojet Fine Chemicals

By Michael Sullivan on 8 February, 2000 - 11:37 am

These rankings are based on facts obtained from the Automation Research Corporations Advisory Group in its report "Worldwide PLC Outlook" with data through October 1999. The details of this data (precise market share percentages by world, region, industry, company) can be purchased from ARC. Similar data is also available from several other research sources.

Correction: In North America, the current rankings are 1. Rockwell, 2.
Schneider Electric, 3. GE Fanuc, 4. Siemens.

By Phill O'Meley on 7 February, 2000 - 11:45 am

This is a fairly broad statement, what is the I/O range you are referring to?

Phill O'Meley

By Johan Bengtsson P&L Automatik AB on 7 March, 2000 - 12:51 pm

Thanks for the replies, both on list and off list

It seems like the worlds most popular PLC:s are quite what I already expected; A-B, Siemens and Schnider Electric. Modicon, Mitsubishi and Omron being a little bit smaller but quite significant

Europe: most Siemens
North America: most A-B
Asia: most Mitsubishi

This will mean implementing A-B and Schneider Electric (Siemens and Mitsubishi already there)

/Johan Bengtsson

P&L, the Academy of Automation
Box 252, S-281 23 H{ssleholm SWEDEN
Tel: +46 451 49 460, Fax: +46 451 89 833

By Vijay Bharadva on 16 September, 2009 - 7:21 am

It depends on the application. With my experience as a PLC programmer, I have seen following applications.

1. Process industry : Rockwell
2. Machine application : rockwell/Siemens
3. CNC application : siemens/Allen-Bradley
4. power industry : GE fanuc
5. Tyre Industry : Rockwell/Modicon
6. Building automation : Telemechanique/Siemens LOGO/Rockwell PICO.

It depends on your maintenance crew's user friendliness also. With my experience Allen-Bradley is most user friendly PLCs.

Hello there,

Here in the Netherlands. For small crab and crane applications, normally I'll make my PLC-Programs in Siemens LOGO. It's a very simple PLC. For greater Cranes (For example 2 crabs) I'll make my programs in Siemens S7-200.

For automatic cranes I'll use the Siemens S7-300.

So you can see I'll make all of my PLC Projects with Siemens.


Remco de Jong
Control & Automation Engineer
Van den Berg Transporttechniek (DEMAG Cranes & Components)

Wow does nobody use GE anymore? I come from a GE background well... my plant mainly used GE from series six's to pax RX7I's... actually we even had a few series one's on our gantry cranes.

By curt wuollet on 17 September, 2009 - 9:36 am

They seem to have lost a lot of their popularity, I don't hear much. I don't think of them for anything new, I'm sure the PLCs are OK, I just haven't liked their software after logicmaster LM90. Reminds me of Step 7, I guess tools are important.


Cimplicity/Proficy Machine Edition is one of those tools that reminds me of Will Smith's line in the movie Men in Black about "unlimited technology" and Agent K's Ford LTD. The original quote is boderline if we're keeping the language clean here.


I work with S7-300/400/1200 and ControlLogix AB and also ABB PLC AC70-110-and 450 PLC.

ABB PLC are very powerful and easy to understand. Why is not used
extensively in the world?
I think it has nothing less than Siemens and AB

By Curt Wuollet on 16 April, 2016 - 11:57 pm

That's an interesting question.

The short answer is that it may have nothing less than the others, but really doesn't offer anything more. For the stuff i do, which is admittedly not very complex, but arguably pretty much average for machine building and integration, I can think of at least a dozen brands that I could use, and all would get the job done. Some systems (software and hardware) would cost more than an order of magnitude more than others. Some are almost inobtainium or they think 3-6 weeks is a reasonable lead time. Some, I would have to deal with an unpleasant and tedious distribution process to obtain. Some require what I consider to be horrible, bloated software to use. A few, I'm skeptical about long term spares. And some, I find their averice and/or proprietary zeal to be annoying.

So I picked one that OEM'd to everyone at one time. offers free software, at the low end of the cost spectrum, that offers free two day delivery, with 24 hour online ordering, doesn't want $100 for a cable, uses standard connectors, etc. etc. I find the software fast and efficient to use, and I haven't found anything that I needed to do but couldn't. I have at least 50 units commissioned with zero problems. It is not one of the "Big Names".

If someone wants Brand X or Y and is willing to pay for it. I will use that. But I'm pretty agnostic because I work with several brands at least occasionally, and my criteria are those that allow me to be most productive and cost effective. When sales types try to sell me something I just go down the list and ask how they compare. They usually don't do very well, and can't come up with a compelling reason to change. ABB is an old and well established firm and they make some great stuff, but there's no local support and it's spendy and harder to obtain.

There are just a lot of reasons why different folk use what they use. And some people just _like_ one brand and will ride through Hell and high water to use it. I prefer that which makes my job easier. Different use cases may be facilitated by more specialized systems, but logic PLCs are mature and a commodity.


thanks for the details information.

in China, the most popular in factory automation is Panasonic PLC, Mitsubishi PLC, Omron PLC. i think their advantage is in position and motion control. however in most field need data collection, Siemens PLC is most popular, their advantage is analog module in my opinion.

Eusens Control System Co.,Ltd
Panyu Luoxi Guangzhou China

Curt makes some really good points, but another question is: are you the integrator or the end user? As an end user my goal is standardization on a scale-able solution. I work for a manufacturing company, which has bounced around with the recommendation of integrator preferences for the last 30 years, that results in a library of 63 PLC programming applications. Recently we have begun migration to OMRON SYSMAC which gives PLC, Motion, Safety, vision, & HMI in a single application.

I’d say the most common brands nowadays would be Allen Bradley or Omron. Depending on the age of the manufacturing facility and part of the world though. I know a lot of places still use Reliance Electric Automax plc's. They can be tough to find since they are obsolete, but some places still have them for sale like

By Juan Beltran on 26 May, 2018 - 11:23 am

Hello, In Mexico te most Popular is AB, Siemens and Omron in that order, also i have worked with Bosh Rexroth.