PLANT ENGINEERING honors Top Plant, Product of the Year winners at gala dinner

03/30/2006



Honorees at the 18thannual PLANT ENGINEERING March 20 in Rosemont, IL got a glimpse at the present and future of manufacturing.

To view winners click here. 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.

Click here for Top Plant Winner video or Download (16,149 kb)
( If you are unable to view The Shockwave Center )

“We are delighted and honored to receive this Grand Award for Product of the Year 2005,” said New Standard 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 Daimler Chrysler 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 click here .





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
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.
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Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 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.
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
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
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

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After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

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