Automation Supplier World Sales Rankings

In December each year, the US-based Magazine Control ( produces an analysis of the world’s process control and automation suppliers, to determine their rankings for total world sales and North American sales. This process is done by analysing the businesses, and in co-operation with colleagues from the ARC Advisory Group, and their latest article covers the information published in accounts that mainly covered 2014. So the big oil industry investment turndown of 2015 would not be seen in these figures. Control reports that the automation revenues in 2015 were down 2-3% in Q2, and then 5% in Q3, so the outlook for the average results in 2015 will be 7% down.

It has been my routine to take these figures and analyse them the other way round, to look at how the major suppliers perform outside North America, in the “Rest of the World”. The general impression is that there have been not many changes in any of the rankings of suppliers since the previous year. The Schneider acquisition of Invensys accelerated them past Emerson, in sales in the Rest of the World, taking them to #3 in the table. Endress + Hauser moved up to #12, overtaking Danaher.


The tabulation also shows the percentage of each company’s total sales that is represented by the Rest of the World, outside America. Most of the Top 20 vendors shown here have the bulk of their turnover coming from the Rest of the World: notable here are Emerson and Rockwell, each with around 55% only, and holding the #1 and #2 slots in the USA. Comparing these Top 20 companies, the major world businesses that have high percentages of sales outside the USA are inevitably not highly ranked in the US vendor listing produced by Control, as shown in the right hand column: notably these include Mitsubishi, Yokogawa, Phoenix Contact, Omron and Festo.

How about the sales growth?


Overall the Top 50 in the World increased sales by around 5.4% to $113Bn according to Control, with the North American Top 50 seeing sales increase by 7.3% to a total of $30Bn in North America. But the second tabulation shown here is more interesting, where companies are listed and ranked according to their percentage growth rate of their worldwide sales. Here the highest rankings go to some Europe-based groups, like E+H, at 12% growth, and Phoenix Contact, at 9.3%, but also with Ametek taking second place with 11.9%. Then the larger suppliers are evident, with Emerson, Honeywell, Mitsubishi and Siemens. Interestingly the ones keeping steady around zero include ABB, Schneider and Yokogawa.


And the detail behind the growth figures?

The ‘devil’ is in the detail, unless it is the fracked gas in the USA detail, and LNG/oil elsewhere.  Believe me, it’s difficult to see any real pattern from the mass of different figure trends, but there are three distinct groups.

The winning group is very small, one company: this is Endress + Hauser. With 10.6% growth in the Rest of the World (ROW) and 19.7% growth in North America (NA) they stand out as the only real achiever in both areas, for 2014 over 2013. True they have made acquisitions that would affect both markets, but all the other majors have not been inactive in acquisitions either, its part of the business activity.

The next group saw a significant downturn in NA, but a rise in fortunes in the ROW: these were Siemens, Honeywell and Cameron. Not three companies you would think were affected by the same factors. Siemens was done 6.4% in NA but up 6.5% in the ROW, which is a bigger part of their business. Honeywell also has 72% of the business in ROW, which grew at 10.2%, but NA fell by 4.8%. Cameron, currently being acquired by Schlumberger, grew at 12% in ROW (61% of their business), but sales fell 14.3% in NA.

The final grouping of companies saw a boom in NA, in stark comparison to the performance in the ROW: these comprise Yokogawa, Rockwell Automation, GE and Danaher. Yokogawa has recovered well in NA, with 10.3% growth, but is down 2.8% in ROW, which is 92% of their business. Rockwell has also seen enormous NA growth at 19.9%, but is significantly down in ROW, by 13.7%: at the end of 2014 Rockwell had 48% of its automation business in NA, the majority is still in ROW. Both GE and Danaher grew their sales by 8.3% in NA, but business was static in the ROW.

Of all the Top 20 ROW automation suppliers, it is significant perhaps to note that only Ametek (at #20) have the majority of their sales in NA, at 55%: all the Top 19 companies, many of which are thought of as American, make the bulk of their sales outside NA. The company who have had a strategy of achieving overall sales in NA of 33%, EU 33% and the Rest 33%, which is ABB, have 21% of automation type sales in NA, and saw even growth of under 1% in both ROW and NA for 2014. This is probably the stability that was their objective.

(C) Nick Denbow,, January 2016