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(Photo courtesy Red Bud Industries)

Top 10 Service Center Equipment Brands of 2018

Service center executives reveal their favorite makes of metal processing equipment

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Perhaps the two words that best describe the development of the service center industry over the past half century are value-add. Distributors throughout North America have been consistently and effectively adding different types of processing equipment to their operations to improve margins, serve customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

Though their reach has extended well downstream, there remain four types of heavy equipment that dominate the service center’s shopping list: coil processing, cutting, sawing and material handling. Each year, Metal Center News polls its service center readers to get an idea of which equipment manufacturers are top of mind. Their sentiments are reflected in the findings from the latest MCN Top 10 Service Center Equipment Brands Survey. 

For 2018, the top three vote-getters in their respective categories are: 

  • Coil Processing: Red Bud Industries, Butech Bliss, Bradbury
  • Material Handling: Bushman, Walker Magnetics, Caldwell
  • Cutting: Trumpf, Messer Cutting Systems, Hypertherm
  • Sawing: HYDMECH, Amada, Behringer

The survey was conducted starting at the tail end of 2017, inviting our service center readers through a series of email polls and a questionnaire in our monthly print editions. Respondents were given an alphabetical listing of the 15 largest companies in each product category with instructions to “check all of the suppliers you would endorse and buy from in the future.” Respondents also had the opportunity to write in additional company names or brand names that were not listed.

The final rankings were simply determined by the largest number of votes received in each category. The final rankings reflect which companies occupy the largest share of mind among their customers and highest level of customer satisfaction. The methodology does not attempt to rank the companies’ products or take into account its market share or size. It merely looks at each manufacturer’s level of positive brand awareness. The list should be viewed as an informal measure of brand preference. 

The tax reform act of late 2017, and the improved conditions in both 2017 and early 2018 should give service centers the opportunity and cash to fund a new piece of equipment that will allow them to improve their operations. And, both equipment manufacturers and their service center customers have indicated that spending will be up this year. 

Click below to see the Top 10 in each category.