Readers of Metal Center News identify those equipment brands that stand out.
As metal service centers continue down the path of value-added services and away from simple distribution, the quality of their equipment continues to grow in importance. Thus, finding affordable and dependable manufacturers of equipment is instrumental to keeping customers satisfied.
Each year, companies of all types – whether flat-rolled or long product specialists, carbon steel or nonferrous enterprises, mom and pop shops or publicly traded behemoths, or service centers or toll processors – are being asked to do more. Frequently, these requests to add services come from customers themselves, interested in taking some excess out of the supply chain, which has become particularly taxed over the past few years. Sometimes, they’re simply internal determinations based on a read of the market.
Whatever the impetus, service centers are demanding more and more from their suppliers of machinery and enterprise software.
To measure how effective those suppliers are, Metal Center News annually surveys the service center space to learn which makers of coil processing equipment, saws and accessories, cutting systems, material handling equipment and ERP software are ones they would recommend to others in the market for such a purchase.
As is often the case, the yearly survey produces a combination of repeat honorees and new list-toppers. This year’s survey welcomes three repeat winners and two new entries at the top of their respective categories. Red Bud Industries, Red Bud, Ill., was again No. 1 among coil processing; Farmington, Conn.-based TRUMPF repeated in cutting; and Cosen Saws, Charlotte, N.C., was again the most-named choice among sawing companies.
Joining them at the top were OpenTrac, Canonsburg, Pa., among software manufacturers and Export, Pa.-based KASTO among the companies providing material handling equipment.
For 2023, the Top 3 in each category are: Cutting: TRUMPF, Hypertherm Associates, Mazak Optonics Corp.;Coil Processing: Red Bud Industries, ANDRITZ Metals USA, Delta Steel Technologies; Sawing: Cosen Saws, HYDMECH, KASTO Inc.;Material Handling: KASTO Inc., Combilift, Hubtex/Design Storage; Software: OpenTrac Supply Chain Management Solutions, Enmark Systems, Bayern Software
The survey was conducted starting at the tail end of 2022 and continued through early April, with readers invited to participate on our website and through email. Readers 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, though no write-ins received enough votes to crack any of the five categories.
The rankings were simply determined by how many mentions each company received from qualified respondents. The final rankings adequately reflect which companies occupy the largest share of mind and customer satisfaction among the service center space. However, 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.
To show our appreciation to our readers for responding to the annual survey, without whom it would not be possible, Metal Center News donated $2 for every response to Feeding America.
We also conducted a random drawing among respondents, with the winner taking home a $200 Visa gift card.
We thank all of you who participated in this year’s survey and our congratulations to each of the companies that made the Top 10.Click here
to Download the Top 10 list.