The new Competitive Assessment by global technology intelligence firm ABI Research provides an in-depth and unbiased examination of the solutions offered by 11 Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) solution suppliers. The analysis focused on eight criteria segmented across innovation and implementation clusters. These include the product's innovative capabilities, user experience, range of customizability, and pricing options. In addition, the report evaluates the PLC solution vendor's experience in delivering its offerings to manufacturers, the company's vertical market expertise and partnership network, and the solution's connectivity and integration with existing plant software architecture and assets.
The companies evaluated and ranked are:
“Siemens came out on top in the competitor ranking, positioned first due to its significant customer base and deployment experience, strong holistic functionality in its software solution, the TIA portal, excellent low/no-code and simulation capabilities, and strong customizability of PLCs, with Siemens offering proprietary processors designed to work effectively with the controller,” states James Prestwood, Industrial and Manufacturing Industry Analyst at ABI Research.
Rockwell Automation claims the second spot, with a wide range of connection and communication protocol support, comprehensive catering to different market verticals, and strong deployment experience. Bosch Rexroth scored well, ranking third overall, demonstrating extensive flexibility within its ctrlX CORE controller and supporting PLC software, with a wide range of apps allowing manufacturers to rapidly design and deploy automation solutions. Keeping Bosch Rexroth’s solution from the top two spot was the solution’s lack of simulation functionality, SaaS deployment options, and weaker low/no-code capabilities compared to other leading competitors. Phoenix Contact scored impressively for innovation, ranking second due to its open Linux core in PLCnext controllers, allowing for solid futureproofing, and its digital marketplace, PLCnext Store, providing immediate access to complex automation solutions almost immediately.
Innovative functionality, user experience, customizability, bookings and customer base, and market vertical integration are the areas that showed the most differentiation between vendors. “Most of the vendors offer their PLC solution alongside a portfolio of other automation solutions, with Siemens, ABB, Emerson, Mitsubishi Electric, and Rockwell Automation, serving levels 1, 2, and 3 of the automation pyramid,” Prestwood concludes.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Industrial Automation Hardware: PLC Hardware and Software competitive ranking report. This report is part of the company’s Industrial and Manufacturing Technologies research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Competitive Ranking reports offer comprehensive analysis of implementation and innovation strategies, to offer unparalleled insight into a company’s performance and standing in comparison to its competitors.
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