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.

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
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.
February 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

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

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me