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Welcome the 2020 IndustryWeek Best Plants Finalists

March 2, 2021
Six U.S. manufacturing plants showcase key components of operational excellence: a collaborative, team-based approach, engaged leadership, an unrelenting desire to improve, and robust performance measures.

If you want to find out what is really going on in manufacturing, visit a shop floor. At the best-run factories, you will discover smart, savvy operators solving problems in work cells, deploying technologies that make their jobs easier and safer, discovering new opportunities to reduce manufacturing cycle times, learning new skills and collaborating with plant leaders to get product out the door on time, every time, defect-free. 

In short, you will find teams of engaged workers improving their operations, daily. These are the types of facilities IndustryWeek seeks in its annual IW Best Plants Awards competition, our annual salute to manufacturing excellence in North America. Such plants with such people don’t exist on every corner, and understandably so—achieving and then maintaining operational excellence is no easy task. We applaud their achievements, and it has been our honor to share their stories since 1990.

IndustryWeek has reached the halfway point in its latest search for these showcase facilities. Following a rigorous Round 1 judging process, six manufacturing plants across the United States have been chosen as finalists in the 2020 IW Best Plants Awards competition. These factories are geographically diverse, representing six different states. The products they make are equally diverse, ranging from food-grade packaging and pharmaceuticals to seat structure assemblies, shrink film, forklift trucks, and load centers and safety switches.

Their common threads, however, are many and include a team-based approach to excellence, engaged leadership, an unrelenting desire to improve, and, of course, robust performance measures.

There is still more work to be done, but, ultimately, IndustryWeek will select its 2020 IW Best Plants Award winners from this group of finalists. We will announce those winners – our 31st class of honorees – later this year. Moreover, we will share their stories both in print and online, and celebrate even further during an awards ceremony at the Manufacturing & Technology Conference, Nov. 9-11, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Despite what has been a challenging environment for manufacturers over the past year, operational excellence endures.

Without further ado, the 2020 finalists are:  

Brose Tuscaloosa Inc.
Vance, Alabama

Intertape Polymer Group Inc.
Tremonton, Utah

Plastic Packaging Technologies
Columbus, Ohio

The Raymond Corporation
Muscatine, Iowa

Schneider Electric Lexington Plant
Lexington, Kentucky

Thermo Fisher Scientific
Greenville, North Carolina

About the Author

Jill Jusko

Bio: Jill Jusko is executive editor for IndustryWeek. She has been writing about manufacturing operations leadership for more than 20 years. Her coverage spotlights companies that are in pursuit of world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six-Sigma strategies. Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

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