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Top 10 Service Center Equipment Brands

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Service center executives reveal their favorite makes of metal processing equipment in this informal brand survey by Metal Center News.

In a world of value-add, upgrades in equipment are one of the ways a service center distinguishes itself from its peers. Staying at the very cutting edge of technology, whether that’s new developments in leveling and slitting for a flat-rolled specialist or new saws for a long products distributor, investments in capital equipment have become a fact of life for most modern service center companies.

Such demand keeps equipment makers competing to meet those ever increasing needs. Research and development at the major equipment providers of all types is ongoing regularly, each trying to create the latest feature that helps improve productivity or reduce costs.

Each year, Metal Center News surveys its readership to find which equipment manufacturers that have forged a reputation for quality products. Those results are produced in our Top 10 Service Center Equipment Brands Survey.

For many years, MCN had four categories of products we surveyed our readers on: coil processing equipment, cutting equipment, sawing equipment and material handling equipment. In 2019, we expanded that list to include software, which is limited to ERP software installed at virtually every service center regardless what type of metal it sells.

For 2020, the top three in each category were:

Material Handling: Bushman, Caldwell, Konecranes;
Coil Processing: Braner, Red Bud Industries, Butech;
Sawing: Amada Marvel, DoALL, HYDMECH;
Software: Enmark Systems, Invera, 4GL;
Cutting: Hypertherm, TRUMPF, Mazak.

Among the top vote-getters in each category, Amada Marvel, Braner and Hypertherm did not finish first in the 2019 survey, while Bushman and Enmark repeated. One significant change from last year’s response was the inclusion of Amada Marvel as a single company, reflective of the previous acquisition of Marvel.

The survey was conducted starting at the tail end of 2019, 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 largest companies in each product category with instructions to check all of the suppliers they 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 most adequately 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 consider 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.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 throwing the service center business, and manufacturing in general, for a loop, time will tell how well this year’s Top 10 perform when Metal Center News runs this survey again at the end of 2020.

Click here to Download the Top 10 list.