Excellence in common

This issue is devoted to the first plants to be recognized in our PLANT ENGINEERING Top Plants program — Hewlett Packard Caribe BV and S&C Electric John R. Conrad Industrial Complex. These two plants are very different. HP makes electronic products on the micro level. S&C makes high-voltage electrical equipment on the macro level.


This issue is devoted to the first plants to be recognized in our PLANT ENGINEERING Top Plants program — Hewlett Packard Caribe BV and S&C Electric John R. Conrad Industrial Complex.

These two plants are very different. HP makes electronic products on the micro level. S&C makes high-voltage electrical equipment on the macro level. Their organizations are different. One has to worry about hurricanes, the other must deal with snow removal. One is in a publicly traded company, the other is privately owned. One has added 1000 employees over the past few years, the other has added hardly any.

Our articles about these plants are different, too. One emphasizes the plant itself and the responsibilities and accomplishments of the plant engineering department. The other concentrates on the philosophy and organization that make plant engineering a full partner in the business.

But in the end, it's the similarities, not the differences, that are really important.

As we began to evaluate the entries in our first-ever Top Plants Recognition Program, we wondered if there would be problems created by the differences in the plants that entered. Would we be faced with trying to compare apples and oranges? But we quickly discovered the task was not really that difficult.

Here are some of the broad factors that helped us identify this year's Top Plants:

  • The goals of the plant engineering function are clearly an extension of the goals of the plant or the corporation. In a Top Plant, everyone is focused on how they can contribute to the plant's success — from wall to wall, from floor to ceiling. This dedication is reflected in the results achieved.

  • The traditional divides between production functions and support functions have been eliminated. There is overwhelming evidence of teamwork and cooperation.

  • The basic responsibilities of the plant engineering function are broad and seen as critical to plant success. They encompass energy management, facilities, maintenance, utilities, project management, capital improvement, and engineering and systems support to production to name a few.

  • Concern for employees, their safety, development, and success is evident. Training has a priority. Safety records are outstanding.

  • The plant engineering function is resourceful and creative. Top Plants can point to challenges met, hurdles overcome, and ideas implemented.

  • Progress has been consistent and is well documented.

    • The purpose of the PLANT ENGINEERING Top Plants Recognition Program is to identify leading examples of the essential role of good plant engineering in achieving a plant's business proposition. We believe this year's winners fulfill that, and we are proud to submit them for your review.

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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This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
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