The editors of IndustryWeek have long appreciated the instructional and motivational value of success stories. And, in the process of developing a series of articles on world-class manufacturing, it occurred to them that there were probably many such stories out there just waiting to be told.
In brief, that is how the IW Best Plants Awards program began way back in 1990. It is IndustryWeek's annual salute to excellence in North American manufacturing plants.
2014 was a year of extra celebration for the IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards. The 2014 honorees were the 25th -- or Silver Anniversary -- class of IW Best Plants.
With that anniversary, IndustryWeek has reflected on the history of the program; the manufacturing plants that have allowed us to share their stories of leading-edge manufacturing practices and performances; and even the tweaking of the IW Best Plants logo since 1990.
Surely, many forces and individuals have contributed to excellence in manufacturing over the past decades, such as W. Edwards Deming and Shigeo Shingo, not to mention the many heroes inside companies who have rallied their organizations to new levels of achievement. At INDUSTRYWEEK, we like to think that the IW Best Plants competition—and the willingness of the winners to share their stories and serve as role models for other manufacturing organizations—has made a contribution.
This slideshow illustrates how IndustryWeek has showcased the IW Best Plants winners on its covers from 1990 to 2014. We also share some of the program's history.