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.

By Bob Vavra, Editor April 1, 2006

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 Gold Cooper Compression Turbo Air 2020 Centrifugal Air Compressor
Silver Atlas Copco Compressors Inc. GN Series Dual Output Air Compressor
Bronze Gorbel Inc. Soft Touch Penumatic Control Handle
Construction, Buildings, & Grounds Gold Hilti TE 706-AVR Breaker
Silver Frommelt Products Corporation Survivor Dock Shelter
Bronze Vestil Manufacturing Corporation Removable Ornamental Steel Bollard
Control Equipment Gold Stealth Computer VU-HB High Brightness LCD Monitor
Silver Burkert Contromatic Corp. Type 8041 Electromagnetic Flow Transmitter
Bronze Schneider Electric Twido Nano Controller with Bluetooth Wireless Gateway
Electric Motors, Drives, & Controls Gold Schneider Electric Altivar 71 Variable Speed AC Drive
Silver GE Fanuc Automation PACSystems DSM324i Motion Controller
Bronze TB Wood’s Incorporated E-trAC X4 AC Drive
Electrical Power Gold Fluke Corporation Fluke 434 Power Quality Analyzer
Silver General Electric Low Voltage Switchgear Remote Racking Device
Bronze Caterpillar Gen Set with ACERT Technology
Environment, Safety, & Health Gold New Pig Corporation PIG Spillblocker Vacuum Dike
Silver PowerFlare Corp. PowerFlare Safety Light
Bronze Scientific Technologies, Inc. OptoShield OS3100 Laser Light Safety Scanner
Fluid Handling Gold Titan Piping CoPro Copper Pipe System
Silver Nvent LLC PermaLynx Permanent Push-to-Connect System
Bronze MedHesives, Inc. Field Service Tech Rapid Repair Kit
General & Maintenance Software Gold Maintenance Connection, Inc. Maintenance Connection Mobile
Silver Peak Industrial Solutions, LLC Plant Engineering Tools Suite
Bronze GE Fanuc Automation Proficy Change Management Ver. 5.0
Heating, Ventilating, & Air Conditioning Gold MovinCool/Denso Sales California, Inc. Office Pro 36 Spot Cooler
Silver Roberts-Gordon, LLC Vantage Modulating Infrared Heater
Bronze Goodway Technologies Corp. CoilPro Cleaner
Instruments Gold Electrophysics HotShot Thermography Camera
Silver Timken Company, The StatusCheck Condition Monitoring System
Bronze IDEAL Industries, Inc. SureTest Circuit Tracer
Lighting Gold Day-Brite Lighting APEX Luminaire
Silver Philips Lighting Company Long Life T12 Fluorescent Lamp
Bronze Venture Lighting International MP Halide Lamp
Maintenance Products Gold Rust-Oleum Rust-Reformer
Silver Dissipater Mfg./ITW Delpro Dissipater Battery Vent Cap
Bronze Sherwin-Williams Company, The Hydrogloss Waterbased Urethane
Maintenance Tools & Equipment Gold Spectronics Corporation Optimax Jr. Cordless Leak Detection Flashlight
Silver Ludeca, Inc. Rotalign Ultra Laser Alignment System
Bronze Stanley Proto Blackhawk Rotator Ratchet
Material Handling Gold New Pig Corporation PIG Under-Rack Containment Tray
Silver Rite-Hite STR-4000 Dok-Lok Vehicle Restraint
Bronze Eriez Magnetics PolyMag Plastic Separator
Power Transmission Gold Emerson Power Transmission Sealmaster PN Gold Mounted Ball Bearing
Silver Vestil Manufacturing Corporation Wire-D Caddy
Bronze Garlock-Klozure Dynamic Seals Mill-right Family of Elastomer Materials
Training Products Gold Ramsay Corporation Drafter (CAD Operator) Test
Silver Humantech Ergonomics 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.