The challenges to deliver manufacturing excellence every day have never been greater. There’s the challenge of finding skilled workers, the challenges of managing energy consumption, the challenges of a competitive global marketplace where the same product you make can also be made anywhere in the world.
Meeting those challenges each day takes a plan — one that is completely embraced by the workers, completely supported by management, relentless executed and enthusiastically celebrated.
The 2007 PLANT ENGINEERING Top Plant winners didn’t just succeed in building successful manufacturing operations. They planned to succeed all along.
The 2007 winners — The Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance , SEW Eurodrive and Spirax Sarco — could not be more diverse in the products they produce. GEMA is a partnership between three major auto manufacturers that combine automation and skill to deliver automobile engines for the present and the future. SEW Eurodrive’s Lyman, SC plant delivers gear reduction parts for its gear motors and drives assemblies. Spirax Sarco develops steam control solutions for industrial and commercial customers.
Yet they all have so much in common. They work at reducing costs throughout the manufacturing process, directly involving workers in finding and executing these cost-reduction plans. They use Lean as a strategy and they are lean as an organization.
They are also all sustainable manufacturers. It goes so far past just being “green” to seeing sustainability as a business imperative. They prove it is possible to be both profit-centric and environmentally responsive.
And while automation is also a key strategy to manufacturing success, each plant manager talks about his people first. The human element is crucial to their success. More than any other factor, it is the human commitment that leads to manufacturing excellence.
We will celebrate that commitment to the plan and the people April 1 in Chicago at the 2008 PLANT ENGINEERING Manufacturing Summit when these outstanding manufacturing companies receive their 2007 Top Plant award.
View the photo galleries of the Top Plants .