Celebrating Excellence

Honorees at the 18th annual PLANT ENGINEERING Product of the Year dinner March 20 in Rosemont, IL got a glimpse at the present and future of manufacturing. The awards dinner drew more than 120 award winners in 16 categories to Rosemont, where winners were honored for their outstanding new product launches during 2005.


Honorees at the 18th annual PLANT ENGINEERING Product of the Year dinner March 20 in Rosemont, IL got a glimpse at the present and future of manufacturing. The awards dinner drew more than 120 award winners in 16 categories to Rosemont, where winners were honored for their outstanding new product launches during 2005. PLANT ENGINEERING readers voted on the outstanding products. The 2005 Grand Award winner was New Standard Institute, which was honored for its Machine Vibration Basics training program. It received the highest vote total from the hundreds of ballots submitted by readers.

"We are delighted and honored to receive this Grand Award for Product of the Year 2005," said New Standard Institute—president Michael Brown. "I would like to thank the editors and staff at PLANT ENGINEERING magazine as well as the readers who voted for our product. As everyone here knows, PLANT ENGINEERING magazine is the premier publication. Industrial and facility managers find it to be invaluable, as does anyone that reads the magazine."

Brown said as workers leave manufacturing, their knowledge is not always being captured, which is a goal of New Standard's training programs. "There is a crisis of workplace inadequacy in the making. The aging workforce is beginning to be felt in the U.S. and Canada," Brown said. "With fewer skilled workers in the pipeline it behooves training companies such as ours to attempt to solve the problem. Training programs with an eye toward accuracy and rich content is essential to this effort."

One company well on its way to understanding that issue is DaimlerChrysler's Belvidere, IL facility, which was honored as the 2005 Top Plant recipient. The Belvidere facility changed its assembly operations from the Dodge Neon to the Dodge Caliber in just eight weeks, and infused workers with a new management system at the same time. The Caliber has arrived with rave reviews, and the Belvidere facility has added a second shift, with a third on the way.

"It is a real honor for me to be here tonight to represent the 2,600 men and women who work at the Belvidere Assembly plant," said plant manager Kurt Kavajecz in accepting the Top Plant award. "I really view my role as a supporter of the people who build Chrysler Group vehicles on the plant floor every day. And it is a job that I love."

Kavajecz said the investment DaimlerChrysler has made in the assembly facility is a direct result of the efforts made by plant workers. "In 2001, when the Chrysler Group was going through some very tough times, we cut production of the well-known but aging Dodge Neon, and we were forced to reduce our workforce from two production shifts to one," Kavajecz said. "But I have to hand it to our employees. During uncertain times they worked harder than ever, and continued to produce the Neon at quality and productivity levels that were among the highest in the company. And the company took notice."

Beyond the Caliber, the Belvidere facility will also produce the new Jeep Compass in 2007, and add a third production line later this year, Kavajecz said. "Now, despite all the recent good news, we realize that the competition out there is as strong as ever," he said. "And we know that we will have to continue to do those things that helped to make us a PLANT ENGINEERING Top Plant award winner."

Building that culture of success was addressed by Accenture partner Dean Teglia, who provided the dinner's keynote speech. Discussing a recent Accenture study on the characteristics of high performers in manufacturing, Teglia noted that the planning needed to build a Product of the Year winner or to execute the kind of efficient retooling of an assembly line were key ingredients in being a high performer.

"I think preparation is a key intangible to achieving high performance," Teglia told the dinner audience. "I think it's important to prepare with the right vision, perspective of the competition, mindset for identifying opportunities and understanding of how to execute.

"Understanding and managing these factors are key to managing risk and achieving and sustaining high performance," he added.

The applications for the 2006 Product of the Year awards and the 2006 Top Plant award are now available online at www.plantengineering.com . A full listing of the 2005 Product of the Year recipients is on page 72.

Celebrating Excellence

Category Name Award Manufacturer Product
Compressed Air GoldCooper CompressionTurbo Air 2020 Centrifugal Air Compressor
SilverAtlas Copco Compressors Inc.GN Series Dual Output Air Compressor
BronzeGorbel Inc.Soft Touch Penumatic Control Handle
Construction, Buildings, & Grounds GoldHiltiTE 706-AVR Breaker
SilverFrommelt Products CorporationSurvivor Dock Shelter
BronzeVestil Manufacturing CorporationRemovable Ornamental Steel Bollard
Control Equipment GoldStealth ComputerVU-HB High Brightness LCD Monitor
SilverBurkert Contromatic Corp.Type 8041 Electromagnetic Flow Transmitter
BronzeSchneider ElectricTwido Nano Controller with Bluetooth Wireless Gateway
Electric Motors, Drives, & Controls GoldSchneider ElectricAltivar 71 Variable Speed AC Drive
SilverGE Fanuc AutomationPACSystems DSM324i Motion Controller
BronzeTB Wood's IncorporatedE-trAC X4 AC Drive
Electrical Power GoldFluke CorporationFluke 434 Power Quality Analyzer
SilverGeneral ElectricLow Voltage Switchgear Remote Racking Device
BronzeCaterpillarGen Set with ACERT Technology
Environment, Safety, & Health GoldNew Pig CorporationPIG Spillblocker Vacuum Dike
SilverPowerFlare Corp.PowerFlare Safety Light
BronzeScientific Technologies, Inc.OptoShield OS3100 Laser Light Safety Scanner
Fluid Handling GoldTitan PipingCoPro Copper Pipe System
SilverNvent LLCPermaLynx Permanent Push-to-Connect System
BronzeMedHesives, Inc.Field Service Tech Rapid Repair Kit
General & Maintenance Software GoldMaintenance Connection, Inc.Maintenance Connection Mobile
SilverPeak Industrial Solutions, LLCPlant Engineering Tools Suite
BronzeGE Fanuc AutomationProficy Change Management Ver. 5.0
Heating, Ventilating, & Air Conditioning GoldMovinCool/Denso Sales California, Inc.Office Pro 36 Spot Cooler
SilverRoberts-Gordon, LLCVantage Modulating Infrared Heater
BronzeGoodway Technologies Corp.CoilPro Cleaner
Instruments GoldElectrophysicsHotShot Thermography Camera
SilverTimken Company, TheStatusCheck Condition Monitoring System
BronzeIDEAL Industries, Inc.SureTest Circuit Tracer
Lighting GoldDay-Brite LightingAPEX Luminaire
SilverPhilips Lighting CompanyLong Life T12 Fluorescent Lamp
BronzeVenture Lighting InternationalMP Halide Lamp
Maintenance Products GoldRust-OleumRust-Reformer
SilverDissipater Mfg./ITW DelproDissipater Battery Vent Cap
BronzeSherwin-Williams Company, TheHydrogloss Waterbased Urethane
Maintenance Tools & Equipment GoldSpectronics CorporationOptimax Jr. Cordless Leak Detection Flashlight
SilverLudeca, Inc.Rotalign Ultra Laser Alignment System
BronzeStanley ProtoBlackhawk Rotator Ratchet
Material Handling GoldNew Pig CorporationPIG Under-Rack Containment Tray
SilverRite-HiteSTR-4000 Dok-Lok Vehicle Restraint
BronzeEriez MagneticsPolyMag Plastic Separator
Power Transmission GoldEmerson Power TransmissionSealmaster PN Gold Mounted Ball Bearing
SilverVestil Manufacturing CorporationWire-D Caddy
BronzeGarlock-Klozure Dynamic SealsMill-right Family of Elastomer Materials
Training Products GoldRamsay CorporationDrafter (CAD Operator) Test
SilverHumantechErgonomics Poster Series

Accepting the Top Plant Award from DaimlerChrysler's Belvidere, IL facility are (from left) Steve Youngblood, smart manufacturing manager, Ed Saenz, Manager, manufacturing and labor media relations, Kurt J. Kavajecz, plant manager of the Belvidere Assembly Plant, Jim Langhenry, publisher,PLANT ENGINEERING and Curt Falk, the Belvidere plant's former facilities engineering and environmental manager.

Accepting the 2005 Product of the Year Grand Award from PLANT ENGINEERING publisher Jim Langhenry (left) are New Standard Institute project participants Tessa Marquis, Andrew Levitt, Michael V. Brown, Chris Burnham, Joe Kiss and John Walters. Not pictured are project programmers Jarrod Phipps, Alexandra Galli-Dibecella, Justin Kohlhepp, Glenn Seseske and Nick Mercurio.

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.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

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

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