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2023 IndustryWeek Best Plants Award Winners: Simply Excellent

Aug. 29, 2023
It takes the right mix of people, process and dogged determination to deliver plant performances that shine.

Don’t let the headline fool you. Nothing about achieving manufacturing excellence is simple. The best-laid plant-floor production plans can be and often are waylaid by the unexpected: temperamental supply chains; equipment interruptions; customers with sudden, urgent needs for a delivery right now; even the random explosive weather event. And that’s just a taste of the many challenges manufacturers face daily.

Yet, amid these challenges are manufacturing plants who make excellence happen, daily. Who don’t let the unexpected deter them from a job well done. Who demonstrate, repeatedly, that North American manufacturing can and does shine.

These are the facilities and these are the teams we salute with the IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards, our annual celebration of excellence in North American manufacturing.

In 2023, IndustryWeek is honored to announce and celebrate two such manufacturing facilities. They comprise our 33rd class of IW Best Plants Award winners, and we applaud their successes.

Without further ado, our honorees for 2023 are:

Cooper Standard, Aguascalientes - Mixing
Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico
Product: synthetic rubber

Intertape Polymer Group
Carbondale, Illinois
Product: pressure sensitive tape

“IW Best Plants always tells us something interesting about what’s going on in the manufacturing world. Last year, supply chain challenges dominated the winning companies. In 2023, personnel and labor issues took center stage. With an extremely tight labor market, nearly every submission reported higher turnover than usual, and how companies dealt with that challenge really showed how creative the best-run facilities in North America can be,” says Robert Schoenberger, IndustryWeek editor in chief.

“New challenges come every year, and the companies that dedicate themselves to operational excellence find solutions. That was evident again this year by how creative our winners were at managing last year’s uncertainty.”

The 2023 IW Best Plants honorees join a stellar cast of manufacturing plants that comprise the IW Best Plants community. That community dates to 1990, when IndustryWeek launched the IW Best Plants Awards competition to showcase and celebrate North American manufacturing successes. Despite producing many different products in facilities of varied sizes and scope, and each with challenges all its own, IW Best Plants Award winners share common characteristics: strong leaders, engaged employees, a problem-solving, team-based operating philosophy, and dogged determination to always improve. Moreover, no IW Best Plants winner rests on past performance or believes it is the best it can be. Tomorrow is yet another day to be better than today. 

IW will post the individual stories of the 2023 IndustryWeek Best Plants Award winners at in September. Further celebration will occur in October, when we invite the 2023 honorees to join us online to share best practices and lessons learned.

As always, we invite you to read their stories, learn from their experiences, borrow ideas that make sense for your facility or at your company. The best are always learning, and always sharing. We at IndustryWeek are honored to do our part in spreading the word of North American manufacturing excellence.

About the IW Best Plants Awards

The IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards program annually recognizes North American manufacturing plants that are on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction, and create stimulating and rewarding work environments.

 Winners are selected following a rigorous review of applications by a panel of IndustryWeek editors, who may be aided by independent evaluations from manufacturing experts and other knowledgeable people. The panel looks for evidence of a comprehensive effort to achieve world-class manufacturing capability, including in such areas as quality, employee involvement, supplier partnerships, technology implementation, production systems and more. The winners must demonstrate improved performance metrics as a result of their efforts. 

Selections are not finalized until site visits.

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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