2008 Top Plant

The two plants chosen as Plant Engineering's 2008 Top Plant award winners are quite different in the size of their facilities and their product offerings. However, both plants practice Lean manufacturing, work at making their plants sustainable and are committed to their workers in ways that stretch the time clock.
By Bob Vavra, Editor December 1, 2008

Plant Engineering
There has been much written about the failures of U.S. manufacturing. Here are a couple of success stories:

• A small Illinois niche manufacturer has grown the business with a unique commitment to making a product that goes unduplicated in the rest of the world. In doing so, this manufacturer has established a global footprint and a global presence.

• A large, global company making a commodity product in the center of America takes manufacturing away from so-called “low-cost” manufacturing regions with an unwavering commitment to people, process and productivity. They may be a division of one of the world’s largest manufacturers, but this particular division operates like a small company with a personal touch.

Plant Engineering is proud to present Quality Float Works of Schaumburg, IL and Square D of Columbia, MO with the 2008 Top Plant award. They are two great examples of the kind of thinking that will help American manufacturing lead the way out of this recession.

When we looked at the Top Plant applications for Quality Float Works and Square D, we saw two things in common. One is a great product, wonderfully engineered and manufactured. The other is a strategy to put that product in the hands of as many end users as possible, at the lowest cost possible. To be a player in a global manufacturing environment, you need to be able to do both, and do if effectively.

Where this year’s Top Plant honorees are very different is in the size of their facilities. That should serve as an example to manufacturers everywhere that the size of an organization does not determine the potential for success.

Both plants practice Lean manufacturing techniques. Both work at making their plants sustainable. Both are commited to their workers in ways that stretch far beyond the time clock.

On March 31 in Charleston, SC at the 2009 Plant Engineering Manufacturing Summit , Quality Float Works and Square D will share one other distinction when they receive the 2008 Top Plant award.