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Meet the 2017 IndustryWeek Best Plants Award Winners: Exceptional Performers

March 1, 2018
IndustryWeek celebrates seven manufacturing facilities that embody operational excellence.

Never doubt the strength of North American manufacturing. Good manufacturing plants span the continent from north to south and east to west. They produce quality products, deliver those products to customers in a timely fashion and they are populated with hard-working people doing things right. IndustryWeek applauds their efforts and their results.

But we also look for more – those exceptional performers, those factories across the continent that not only do things right, but do the right things. They deliver outstanding performances. They create rewarding work environments. They not only recognize that operational excellence is the cornerstone of a winning manufacturing strategy, but they also work to achieve it every single day. They are leaders, they are team players and they play to win.

We call this annual search for manufacturing excellence the IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards competition. Since 1990 it has been our pleasure to discover and share – and celebrate – these exceptional performers.

Without further ado, join us in honoring the 2017 IndustryWeek Best Plants Award winners:

Accuride Wheel End Solutions, Rockford Operations
Rockford, Ill.

Adient Lerma Seating Plant
Lerma de Villada, Mexico, Mexico

AGCO Jackson Operations
Jackson, Minn.

Boston Scientific, Arden Hills Operations
Arden Hills, Minn.

Intertape Polymer Group
Tremonton, Utah

Johnson Controls Building Technologies & Solutions
Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico

Thermo Fisher Scientific
Auburn, Ala.

“Real manufacturing excellence isn’t a result of inspirational corporate slogans or enterprise-wide improvement efforts. It comes down to individual plants and factories, down to individual teams and leaders who make the conscious decision to fight for quality, efficiency, and safety in everything they do,” says Travis Hessman, IndustryWeek editor in chief. “It is our pleasure to award seven plants that have taken this fight up to a world-class measure of excellence, the 2017 IndustryWeek Best Plants Award. The commitment, determination, and innovation demonstrated by these teams can serve as a model to help shape improvements across the manufacturing industry, and we are proud to share their stories with you.”

What Makes a Winner?

We say this every year, and it remains true for this 28th class of IW Best Plants Award winners: There is no single path to excellence. The 2017 IW Best Plants Award winners manufacture a variety of products, in different locations, in factories both large and small.

Yet, the 2017 IW Best Plants Award winners also share a host of common characteristics: strong leaders, teams that embrace a challenge, a rejection of complacency, and a deep recognition that more and better performances are ahead of them.

And performance is key. The IndustryWeek Best Plants competition seeks manufacturers that demonstrate excellence across a broad swath of indicators, from safety and employee engagement to quality, productivity, supply chain management and customer care.

The 2017 winners deliver, consistently and comprehensively.

IndustryWeek will tell the stories of these IW Best Plants Award winners in the March/April print issue, and the articles also will be posted online at in the upcoming weeks. It is an honor to play a role in bringing their stories to a wider audience.  

Meet the Winners in May

The IndustryWeek Best Plants Award winners will be honored during a ceremony at the 2018 IW Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo, where they also will share their stories of operational excellence. The event is May 8-10 in Raleigh, N.C.

Download a 2018 IW Best Plants Awards application.

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