Manufacturing excellence is alive and well in North America. Remarkable manufacturing facilities with remarkable team members and leaders are delivering remarkable results.
They are doing so in the face of intense global competition, increasing cost pressures and ever-more-demanding customers. They are doing so even as the bar is raised for what defines excellence.
Such excellence deserves recognition. For the 24th consecutive year, IndustryWeek is pleased to announce the winners of the annual IW Best Plants competition, our salute to manufacturing excellence across North America.
For the first time in several years, all of the IW Best Plants are located in the United States, and they span the continent, from Flextronics on the West Coast to H.C. Starck in the east. Pennsylvania plays host to the greatest number of winners, with both Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control located in the Keystone State.
2013 IW Best Plants Winners
Click on a plant's name to read its story.
2013 IW Best Plant 3M Aberdeen is the first plant in South Dakota to be named an IndustryWeek Best Plants winner.
In the following pages and online, IndustryWeek shares the stories of the 2013 IW Best Plants winners. You will discover that the products they produce frequently are very different. Their physical sizes vary, as do their numbers of employees and the technologies that drive their manufacturing processes. Their roads to peak performance don't follow the same manufacturing landscape.
But you will note the similarities as well, and they are many. Dedicated employees. Inspired leaders. A "we are a team" mentality. A singular understanding that tomorrow's performances will be better than today's. An acknowledgement that customers and suppliers are valuable partners in driving manufacturing excellence. The smart use of technology.
And, of course, outstanding performances, such as 3M's 2.3 million hours without a lost-time accident and Flextronics' 98.85% first pass yield.
Read the stories of the 2013 IndustryWeek Best Plants winners and be inspired in your own pursuit of operational excellence. Even more, do what the IW Best Plants always do -- collect the good ideas. Meet with your team. Determine whether those good ideas make sense in your own operations or spur even bigger ideas. Aim to excel.
Congratulations to the 2013 IndustryWeek Best Plants winners.
How the Winners were Selected
IndustryWeek began accepting application requests for the 2013 IW Best Plants awards early last year. A panel of IW editors reviewed the completed applications, which reported management practices and plant performance in such areas as quality, customer and supplier relations, employee involvement, productivity, cost containment, manufacturing flexibility and responsiveness, inventory management, environmental and safety performance, and market results.
The selection of the winners from a list of finalists was aided by outside experts Kenneth J. McGuire of the Management Excellence Action Coalition and Larry Fast, president of Pathways to Manufacturing Excellence. Their evaluations, along with additional information provided by the finalists, were considered in the final stage of judging. The selections did not become final until site visits by IW editors to validate the performance data and management practices reported in the applications.