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Drives users vote Eurotherm Europe`s best supplier

01 June, 2001

Drives users vote Eurotherm Europe`s best supplier

Europe`s drives-specifiers have chosen Eurotherm as their favourite drives supplier. An independent poll* of more than 200 drives users and specifiers from across Europe has revealed that Lenze is the second most popular supplier, followed by Mitsubishi, Rockwell and Control Techniques.

Europe`s two largest drives suppliers are some way off pole position, with ABB coming eighth and Siemens filling the number ten slot. The poll, conducted by Intex Management Services (IMS), was weighted to represent the differing sizes of national markets, and the different sectors of industry. IMS pollster Simon Harris says that the results are statistically significant with an 85% confidence level.

The interviewees named around 50 different drives suppliers, but to maintain statistical accuracy, IMS limited its analysis to the ten most frequently cited. These ten represent about 70% of the $1.5bn European AC drives market.

As well as quizzing the users on their attitudes to drives-suppliers, IMS asked them a battery of other questions which revealed, amongst other things, that:

• reliability is the most important single factor in choosing a drives supplier, followed by price;

• assistance with installations is the most important service that drives suppliers should offer;

• more than half of those interviewed required a maintenance call-out response time of under 12 hours;

• 43% of the interviewees would prefer to buy their drives from companies that offer other automation products;

• 93% of buyers and specifiers go to trade shows, but they now regard Web sites as being a more important source of information; and

• more than a third would consider using e-commerce to buy products, but not many are doing so yet.

The interviewees - comprising end-users, machine builders and systems integrators - were asked to rate their suppliers on several different criteria. Mitsubishi topped the poll in terms of price and reliability, Lenze was number one on delivery, Control Techniques was judged to provide the best technical support, while SEW Eurodrive had the best manuals. While ABB was said to offer the most advanced technology, Eurotherm won the ease-of-use and overall performance categories, giving it the leading position when the scores for the individual categories were added up, weighted according to the criteria specified the users said were most important.

Harris points out that the scores of the various contenders were close. "All of the companies rated highly," he says. IMS plans to conduct the poll annually. "It`s extremely satisfying to receive an award that has been based on in-depth direct customer and user feedback," says Mark Hartley, Eurotherm Drives` sales and marketing manager. "We relish the challenge of maintaining our leading position in the eyes of drives users and are looking forward to next years` awards."

* The full results of the survey are available in a detailed report, European Motor Drive Survey 2001. Price £1,800. Details from IMS on (44) 01933 402255.




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