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Sir James Dyson, Nalco Co., and Chirch Global Manufacturing Win Top ML100 Awards

Posted By Jeff Moad, May 03, 2012 at 9:25 AM, in Category: The Innovation Enterprise

PALM BEACH, FL -- Three manufacturing leaders who distinguished themselves by forging innovative new business models and advocating forcefully for their industry were recognized last night with top honors in the eighth annual Manufacturing Leadership 100 Awards.

At a gala awards ceremony attended by winners of the ML100 Awards, serial inventor and manufacturing industry advocate Sir James Dyson was named Visionary Manufacturing Leader of the Year, largely in recognition for his passion for inspiring and educating a new generation of engineers.

Also receiving top honors were Nalco Co., an Ecolab company, and Chirch Global Manufacturing.

Both of those companies were recognized for having carried out the most impressive and transformative projects reviewed this year by the ML100 distinguished panel of judges. Nalco’s was selected as the top overall project from among all 2012 ML100 Award winners with annual revenue of more than $1 billion. Chirch’s Global Manufacturing Network initiative was selected as the top overall project from among all 2012 ML100 Award winners with annual revenue of less than $1 billion.

Also unveiled were seven winners of ML100 High Achiever Awards, two winners of the ML100 Editors’ Choice Awards, and 15 individual achievement winners in four new categories that were added to the awards program this year. The High Achiever Awards are presented to ML100 Award-winning projects that received the most votes from the judges in each of the seven ML100 Award categories. Winners of the Editors’ Choice Awards were selected by members of the Manufacturing Executive editorial staff, which found them to be projects that represented great potential and captured the spirit of the ML100 Awards.

“Our heartiest congratulations go out to Sir James Dyson, Nalco, Chirch Global Manufacturing, and all the top award winners,” said David R. Brousell, vice president and editorial director of Manufacturing Enterprise Communications, whose businesses include the ML100 Awards program, the Manufacturing Leadership Summit, and the Manufacturing Leadership Council. “Their accomplishments, and those of all of the 2012 ML100 Award winners, provide inspiring proof that manufacturers from around the world are not only adapting to accelerating change, but they are thriving by embracing and even leading that change.”

Sir James Dyson’s company, Dyson Ltd., is well known for having produced vacuums, fans, and other machines that have become iconic examples of engineering and innovative excellence, and have been featured in modern art museums around the world. Dyson, after all, attended the Royal College of Art in London.

But perhaps less well known is Dyson’s passion for inspiring and educating a new generation of engineers. His James Dyson Foundation promotes design and technology education in the U.K. and the U.S., running workshops and providing schools with teaching aids that help students learn more about the design process. The foundation also provides scholarships for aspiring top-flight engineers. In addition, the foundation bestows the coveted James Dyson Award, a student design award covering 18 countries around the world.

Dyson’s approach combines personal passion, practical support for education, and an undying spirit of innovation.

“I am most grateful for the recognition from the Manufacturing Leadership 100 Awards,” Dyson said in a prepared statement. “Our high-tech future depends on ingenious young minds, young people who are willing to challenge established thinking and develop new technology. So, let’s invest in their education and see what they are capable of.”

Small Enterprise Project-of-the-Year winner Chirch Global was honored for creating a new, service-oriented manufacturing model that allows small and midsize manufacturers to collaborate so they can expand their global reach and take on much larger, more diverse customers than they would otherwise be able to support. The network today consists of 14 manufacturing companies in the Midwest that combine their tool-and-die, metal stamping, fabrication, and other capabilities and resources in order to offer a one-stop shop of the highest quality. The network now consists of 1,200 employees, more than 875,000 square feet of factory/warehouse space, and aggregate annual revenue of more than $180 million. And it is growing every day.

In accepting the award, Chirch Global CEO, Chairman, and President Anthony L. Chirchirillo dedicated it to his family and others that, like his, devote themselves to the success of small manufacturing enterprises.

Nalco, the Large Enterprise Project-of-the-Year winner, collects vast amounts of information about its customers’ operations as a trusted provider of chemicals and services to petroleum, petrochemical, paper, and other manufacturers. In 2008, the company decided to turn that data into actionable information that could boost its competitiveness and that of its customers. The result was Refined Knowledge, the ultimate in Big Data-enabled transformation. Nalco now uses data collected every day from 70,000 customers to do things like real-time demand planning for itself, and also to benchmark its customers’ operations, helping them to become more productive, conserve natural resources, and meet social responsibility goals. Through Refined Knowledge, Nalco helped one customer reduce fresh-water usage by 1 billion gallons, saving $4 million.

The award was accepted by a Nalco team that included Global Automation Manager John Schlitt, who submitted the winning ML100 nomination.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was the winner of one of the 2012 ML100 Editors’ Choice Awards. As part of its continuous-improvement push, Ball launched a project to enable electronic authoring and management of material receiving records. A team of experts from across Ball established the business requirements for the project, which included creation of an electronic inspection record in Ball’s MES system, and automated the flow of that data into the ERP system. The result was an automated material receiving process that saved Ball hundreds of thousands of dollars, and also reduced cycle time by 18% and support labor by 80%.

The other Editors’ Choice Award was claimed by John I. Haas, a manufacturer of hops and hop-based products. To satisfy increasing customer expectations and to cope with consolidation in the brewing industry, Haas launched a transformational project that included replacement of its ERP, financial, budgeting, inventory management, and recipe management systems. This has given Haas real-time insight into raw materials and inventories, and allowed the company to reduce annual operating and maintenance costs by more than $400,000.

These companies and projects were honored as ML100 High Achievers in the following categories:

Game-Changing Technologies—Eaton Corp.

Eaton transported its hydraulics business into the mobile era with PowerSource, an iPad-based application that allows salespeople to instantly access detailed catalogue information on more than 200,000 Eaton products as well as videos, 3D model visualizations, news, and competitor information. The mobile app has slashed sales cycle times. Processes that previously took days can be done in hours or minutes. Eaton’s projected ROI on PowerSource is $24.5 million over three years.

Global Value Chain—Oracle Corp.

After acquiring server hardware manufacturer Sun Microsystems in 2009, Oracle launched an aggressive plan to reduce the unit’s costs and cut lead times. Oracle reduced the number of Sun final-assembly and test sites, and consolidated pickup locations. Oracle also implemented a demand-driven order fulfillment model with no finished-goods inventory and 100% direct shipments to customer locations as well as a single global planning process. The result was slashed inventories, reduced product lead times, and lower freight and warehousing costs. Transforming the Sun supply chain helped Oracle achieve its stated goal of driving $1 billion in profitability in the 12 months following the Sun acquisition.

Information Leadership—U.S. Air Force Logistical Operations

The Air Force’s Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) helped the agency streamline and take cost out of its massive logistical operations, and to deliver on its critical mission: getting warfighter and weapon systems where they are needed, when they are needed. While the Air Force continues to look to take cost out of the system, the ECSS project replaced 250 legacy systems with a single data model for logistics operations and asset management. The resulting revamped processes resulted in a 20% increase in weapon system availability, as well as shorter equipment maintenance wait times and better stock availability.

Operational Excellence—Tessy Plastics Corp.

Seeking to reduce scrap, rework, delivery delays, and quality concerns, injection molder Tessy Plastics integrated its ERP system directly with its shop-floor systems, allowing both to share bill-of-material information. Robots on the plant floor now get accurate information on which components to use for a given job, and vision systems verify operations in real time. Tessy now has 100% component accuracy and expects to save $2.5 million.

Innovative Enterprise—IBM Corp. (HIP Defect Mechanism)

In a race to meet an aggressive product shipment schedule for its new Power7 Server system and to satisfy regulatory restrictions on the use of lead-based solder, IBM assembled a global team of its own subject matter experts and partners. The team was able to use advanced assembly techniques and process equipment to understand and eliminate defects. The resulting processes represented a milestone in the elimination of lead solder from complex server products. It also enabled IBM to sell $202 million in Power7 Server products in the fourth quarter of 2011.

New Workforce—Bridge Publications

When Bridge Publications decided to move production of its book and CD products in-house, the size of its manufacturing staff suddenly expanded tenfold. But many of the new plant workers had little experience in book manufacturing or with the company’s state-of-the-art machines. Bridge responded by developing an in-house training program that involves an apprenticeship, testing of staff knowledge, and on-the-job training. Bridge’s staff is now among the most proficient in the world, setting records for production volume.

Sustainability—Lexmark InternationalLexmark moved a significant step beyond its competitors in the printing and imaging industry by implementing closed-loop recycling programs for both ink and toner cartridges. Leveraging its Cartridge Collection Program, Lexmark is now able to reclaim a feed-stream of high-impact polystyrene plastic from empty cartridges and turn them into new toner and inkjet cartridges. Since the beginning of 2010, Lexmark has recovered more than 500,000 pounds of post-consumer plastic material and remade it into new printer cartridges.

Congratulations to all 2012 Manufacturing Leadership 100 Award winners.

Nomination forms for the 2013 ML100 Awards are available at http://www.ml100awards.gilcommunity.com/

Written by Jeff Moad

Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit

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