Top Plant

The finished products could not be more different. One is the best-selling passenger car in America. Another might be the coolest thing on four wheels. The third is the gold standard for circuit breakers. The 2006 Top Plant award winners have one very important thing in common: they prove that it doesn’t matter what you make if you make it well, with uncompromising attention to detail and...

12/01/2006


The finished products could not be more different. One is the best-selling passenger car in America. Another might be the coolest thing on four wheels. The third is the gold standard for circuit breakers.

The 2006 Top Plant award winners have one very important thing in common: they prove that it doesn’t matter what you make if you make it well, with uncompromising attention to detail and a workplace spirit that makes the people every bit as important as the product. PLANT ENGINEERING ’s 2006 Top Plant honorees carry that theme with them every day.

At Toyota in Georgetown, KY, the Camry comes off the assembly line as the product of one of the world’s most respected manufacturing systems %%MDASSML%% The Toyota Way. Yet, as we emphasize in our inside look at Toyota, the people drive the process; not the other way around.

At Square D in Lincoln, NE, the product they make is just as legendary as the Camry. The QO circuit breaker has been an industry standard for a half century. Today, an automated system cranks out tens of thousands of circuit breakers each day. What is impressive on that shop floor is the people who consistently look for ways to make each one a little better.

At BMW in Spartanburg, SC, the Z4 roadster that comes off the assembly line has always looked great. The process, plant management decided, had room for improvement. So BMW ripped the plant down to just its girders, rebuilt the line and retrained the staff to make it better. The result has driven productivity and safety increases for the plant.

While they are different products manufactured in different ways, they have much in common. All three plants practice safety as a core principle. All three have found the balance between automation and the human touch. All three strive each day to encourage and reward innovation at every level of the plant.

The goal of PLANT ENGINEERING ’s Top Plant award is to recognize excellence in manufacturing. Toyota, Square D and BMW share a commitment to excellence in what they manufacture each day. They are all committed to both the present and the future of American manufacturing, reinvesting in their plants and their people every day.

These are the attributes of a Top Plant, and we are honored to recognize these three outstanding manufacturing plants with the 2006 Top Plant award.





The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
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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.

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