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Britains Best Factory Award Winners 2010

A company that designs and manufactures traffic lights and control systems for highway agencies and local authorities across the world has been named the Toyota Material Handling Factory of the Year for 2010 at the Best Factory Awards (BFAs) run by Cranfield School of Management in partnership with the magazine Works Management(Author: Ken Hurst)

 

Sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK, Barclays Corporate, DAK Consulting, IOSH, National Skills Academy for Manufacturing, Power Panels Business Improvement and Unite the Union.

At one of the UK manufacturing sector’s biggest gatherings of the year an audience of approaching 400 at the Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden, London on Friday 17 September witnessed Siemens Traffic Solutions picking up the winner’s trophy. The Poole, Dorset-based site also scooped the Best Electronics & Electrical Plant award and a highly commended accolade for its People Management & Skills Development. Through use of lean manufacturing processes over the past two years, the business has increased its turnover from £15 million to £21 million, without increasing its workforce of 120 and against a background of cost pressures.

Dr Marek Szwejczewski, Director of the Best Factory Awards said: “The Siemens Traffic Solutions facility in Poole is a factory of distinction, and provides a benchmark of manufacturing excellence, for others to strive for. Lean manufacturing is at the core of its success. Key elements deployed include one-piece flow, 5S workplace organisation, an employee suggestion scheme offering around 3,500 potential improvements in the past three or four years and cellular manufacturing.”

Szwejczewski said that an important trait shared by this year’s award winners was their emphasis on continuous improvement whereby all employees were trained in its techniques, encouraged to make suggestions for improvement and get involved in developing the solutions.

“In a challenging economy,” he added, “the best plants were also undertaking large step change improvement projects, bringing together a cross functional team (which included shop floor employees) to make significant improvements in quality, delivery and cost performance.”

Works Management editorial director Ken Hurst said: “Pay too much attention to the politicians and pundits, and you could easily be led to believe that the survival and future prosperity of the sector depends upon a single shiny vote-winning technological sector or two. But among these award winners you will find much else – from food and fertilizer to engineering and electronics – to suggest that manufacturing is the kind of multi-faceted sector with range and mass enough to be capable of making a difference to the way Britain pays its way in the world.”

The full list of winners and highly commended plants for 2010:

Toyota Material Handling Factory of the Year: Siemens Traffic Solutions in Poole, Dorset.

Best Process Plant Award: Bison Manufacturing in Swadlincote, Derbyshire – Producer of pre-stressed concrete hollowcore flooring units.

Highly commended: Yara UK in Pocklington, York.

Best Engineering Plant Award: Vaillant Group in Belper, Derbyshire – Manufacturer of domestic condensing boilers.

Best Electronics and Electrical Plant Award: Siemens Traffic Solutions in Poole, Dorset.

Highly commended: EMS Radio Fire & Security Systems in Herne Bay, Kent.

Best Household and General Products Plant Award: Tamar Foods in Callington, Cornwall – Producer of pies, sausage rolls and savoury pasties.

Highly commended: Vitacress Salads in St Mary Bourne, Andover, Hants.

Best SME Award: EMS Radio Fire & Security Systems in Herne Bay, Kent – – The plant produces wireless fire detection systems.

Highly commended: Controlled Therapeutics in East Kilbride, Glasgow.

People Management & Skills Development Award: Vitacress Salads in St Mary Bourne, Andover, Hants – Produces washed, bagged salads.

Highly commended: Controlled Therapeutics in East Kilbride, Glasgow and Siemens Traffic Solutions in Poole, Dorset.

Supply Chain Award: Fläkt Woods in Colchester, Essex – Manufacturer of equipment for buildings, tunnels and car parks.

Highly commended: Vitacress Salads in St Mary Bourne, Andover, Hants.

Most Improved Plant Award: Siemens Magnet Technology in Witney, Oxon – The plant makes large super conducting magnets for use in MRI scanners.

Highly commended: Reckitt Benckiser in Derby.

Health & Safety Award: Thales in Basingstoke, Hampshire – The plant produces electronic components for defence systems.

Highly commended: Yara UK in Pocklington, York.

Innovation Award: Siemens Magnet Technology in Witney, Oxon.

Energy & Environment Award: Vaillant Group in Belper, Derbyshire.

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