2016 Top Plant

The 2016 Plant Engineering Top Plant winner, MFC Netform, makes people the cornerstone of their manufacturing philosophy.

12/12/2016


Courtesy: CFE MediaWe talk a lot about technology in manufacturing-about the machines and software and the strategies around them that make our plants safer and more efficient. Those are important advancements in developing a modern manufacturing facility.

One aspect we try not to overlook, but one that is even more crucial to a plant's success, is the human element. Improving the way humans work with the plant operations and with each other go a long way to making your plant more successful. People are at the cornerstone of the manufacturing philosophy at MFC Netform, the 2016 Plant Engineering Top Plant recipient. As Tim Cripsey, the executive vice president of MFC Netform, notes in the story to follow: "The technology is a secondary tool. What makes us successful is our people and how we trust our customer focus and our employee focus."

When asked why his plant was recognized as this year's Top Plant award winner, Cripsey said simply, "There are only two real reasons in my opinion: The people and the culture."

As manufacturers aspire to be a Top Plant, the focus is on metrics and measurements. Plant managers offer key performance indicators and overall equipment effectiveness-data we reduce to acronyms such as KPIs and OEE. What we cannot reduce to data is the way workers feel about their jobs and about their organization. In developing a plant strategy, MFC Netform started with its customers and built a manufacturing process that met their needs. This allows for MFC Netform to customize and even redesign products to meet the needs of their end users.

To accomplish this, MFC Netform's focus on employee input and employee training makes every worker part of quality control and of process improvement. They also have embraced a Lean manufacturing philosophy, which brings workers and processes closer together. They also have a fundamental commitment to safety at all times.

All this reliance on people doesn't mean the company has overlooked technology of course. Quite the contrary; MFC Netform has a sophisticated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and it uses robotics and automation extensively to enhance the manufacturing process.

But it was the people-first commitment from MFC Netform of Shelby Township, Mich. that elevated the facility to this year's Top Plant Award. It stands as an example of just how important people are to building a successful manufacturing plant.

-Bob Vavra, content manager, Plant Engineering



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me