Top winners of the 2017 Manufacturing Leadership Awards gathered on stage at the 13th Annual ML Awards Gala on June 14 in Huntington Beach Resort and Spa in Huntington Beach, CA.

ML Summit & Awards 2017

As individuals and enterprises in disrupted industries from retail to publishing have learned in the last few years, the road to digital transformation is not straight, it is not easy, and it creates winners and losers.

As recent Manufacturing Leadership Council research has shown, manufacturing companies and their leaders also are struggling to meet the challenges inherent in embracing the digital future that we call Manufacturing 4.0. Leaders must understand and adopt emerging technologies, built a workforce equipped for the future, and establish more collaborative leadership cultures.

But, as winners of the 13th annual Manufacturing Leadership Awards prove, manufacturers are beginning to complete inspiring projects that, taken together, are defining the promising outlines of the M4.0 era by transforming plant floors, supply chains, and the manufacturing workforce while enabling profound business model innovation.

In June, winners of the ML Awards were honored at a gala event at which top winners of the 2017 were revealed.

Among the top 2017 ML Awards winners announced in June were two companies honored as Manufacturers of the Year and one individual Manufacturing Leader of the Year. The Manufacturers of the Year—one a large enterprise and one a smaller company with annual revenues under $1 billion—were selected by the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Judging Panel as the most compelling initiatives from among all 91 winners of the 2017 ML Awards.

The Manufacturing Leader of the Year was selected by the ML Awards Judges as the most outstanding manufacturing leader from among the six winners of the program’s Visionary Leadership Awards for individuals.

For the fourth time in its history, the ML Awards also announced a winner of its Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a leader whose career-long spirit and achievements have significantly advanced the manufacturing industry.

For more than a decade, Dr. Zühlke has promoted the concept of the smart factory within academia and the industry, establishing ties between Industry 4.0 theory and practice.


Industry 4.0 pioneer Dr. Detlef Zühlke accepts the Manufacturing Leader of the Year Award

Other top winners announced at the ML Awards Gala included 12 High Achiever Award winners. These special winners were judged the most impressive in each of the 12 ML Awards project categories.

And given special recognition were 13 manufacturing technology providers that received ML Partner Awards in recognition of their roles in supporting ML Award-winning manufacturers this year.

These top Manufacturing Leadership Awards winners are proving, through breakthrough projects and individual achievements, that Manufacturing 4.0 is a real and powerful force that is transforming the face of the industry.

Following are brief profiles of the projects and individual achievements that were honored with the Manufacturing Leadership Awards in 2017:

Manufacturing Leader of the Year

Dr. Detlef Zühlke

CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD, TECHNOLOGIE-INITIATIVE SMARTFACTORY KL E.V. AND CHAIR FOR PRODUCTION AUTOMATION AT THE KAISERSLAUTERN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, IN GERMANY.

Zühlke is a founding father of the Industry 4.0 movement, which is transforming manufacturing around the world. In 2005, Dr. Zühlke founded the non-profit SmartFactory initiative, which, in cooperation with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, became known as the birthplace of the Industry 4.0 paradigm of intelligent, modular and digitized production. Under Dr. Zühlke’s leadership, the SmartFactory initiative has forged partnerships with key academic, research, and industrial organizations to create a unique network that develops everything from base technologies to marketable Industry 4.0 products.

For more than a decade, Dr. Zühlke has promoted the concept of the smart factory within academia and the industry, establishing ties between Industry 4.0 theory and practice. He has succeeded in creating a neutral platform on which players such as Siemens, Bosch, IBM, and Cisco have been able to cooperate, exchange ideas, and collaborate. Dr. Zühlke has also worked closely with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to support small and medium-size manufacturers in their journey to Industry 4.0.

Dr Zühlke started an Industry 4.0 wave that is now inspiring highly digitized, modular, and flexible production around the world.

Dow’s Talent Development initiative encompassed several programs that showcase the remarkable capabilities of Dow’s employees.

Dow, now a two-time winner of the Manufacturer of the Year Award, is being recognized for three outstanding initiatives that, together, represent a transformation tour de force.

The Dow Chemical Company’s David Mongrue accepts the Manufacturer of the Year, Large Enterprise Award, accompanied by the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s David R. Brousell (left) and Joe Salvo of General Electric, the 2016 winner.

The winners of 2017’s top Manufacturing Leadership Awards, like all ML Awards winners, prove every day that transformational innovation is alive and well in manufacturing.

Manufacturer of the Year

The Dow Chemical Company

(LARGE ENTERPRISE)

Dow, now a two-time winner of the Manufacturer of the Year Award, was recognized for three outstanding initiatives that, together, represent a transformation tour de force.

Part of a $4 billion feedstock investment program on the U.S. Gulf Coast, Dow’s ground-breaking Propylene Dehydrogenation Project required 4,500 construction workers, yet was completed in an impressive three years. Dow now has the largest on-purpose propylene production unit in the U.S.

The company’s Dow Operation Excellence System was implemented as a unique continuous improvement system that delivers greater focus on customer and market needs, greater financial performance, and increased collaboration across departments, removing silos and barriers to collaboration. To date, the program has generated more than $200 million in savings across five sites. It is expected to deliver more than $1 billion in cost improvement over the next 10 years.

Dow’s Talent Development initiative encompassed several programs that showcase the remarkable capabilities of Dow’s employees. These innovative programs use unconventional methods to uncover latent skills, motivations, and ambitions, and provide clarity of purpose through a guided process of self-discovery. So far, 4,467 employees have been touched by these programs.

Pixelligent Technologies, LLC

(SMALL/MEDIUM ENTERPRISE)

Pixelligent Technologies was honored for its breakthrough PixClear nanocrystals technology and PixClearProcess manufacturing system. Where other highprofile nano technology startups have stumbled, Pixelligent has become a shining success story. Beginning in 2011, the company invested in PixClear, a nanocrystal material, which can improve the lighting efficiency of organic light-emitting diodes by 100%. This promises to transform the already rapidlyexpanding market for LED lighting and displays and the devices that use them.

The PixClear process has proven to be a unique manufacturing system for scaling production to over 50 million tons per year. Over the past five years, the process has produced yields that have improved by 20 times and has had a manufacturing cost reduction of over 90%. Not surprisingly, multinational lighting, display, and materials companies are now knocking on Pixelligent’s door.

Where other high-profile nano technology startups have stumbled, Pixelligent has become a shining success story.

Pixelligent Technologies’Dan Russell(left) and Craig Bandesaccept the Manufacturer of the Year, Small/Medium Enterprise Award

Lifetime Achievement Award

Leo Reddy

CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MANUFACTURING SKILLS STANDARDS COUNCIL

Throughout his long and distinguished career, Leo Reddy has been an inspiring and continuous source of leadership, founding and growing institutions that continue to benefit the manufacturing industry while also serving his country with distinction.

The first phase of Reddy’s distinguished career was in the Cold War. He began with service as a naval officer on destroyers in the Sixth Fleet and Hawaii. Following a stint as an analyst in the CIA, he had an awardwinning, 28-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, where he rose to the rank of Career Minister as a specialist in NATO and arms control. He is a recipient of the White House Presidential Award for Outstanding Service, among other honorsrs.

He left the Foreign Service at the end of the Cold War, returning to industry to lead the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing. As head of NACFAM, Leo became a strong advocate for a series of federal programs that continue to strengthen America’s industrial base.


Leo Reddy of the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award, accompanied by Michael Packer of Lockheed Martin (left) and the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s David R.Brousell

Most recently, Leo has been a powerful force in addressing one of manufacturing’s top challenges: the need to develop a next-generation production workforce able to keep pace with technological change. As chair and CEO of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council since 2005, Leo has guided the establishment of two standards-based national industry certifications that have helped to prepare over 55,000 individuals for advanced manufacturing careers.

High Achiever Awards

High Achievers are ML Award Winners that have received the highest scores in the 12 project categories.

BIG DATA AND ADVANCED ANALYTICS LEADERSHIP

VirTex Enterprises LP

VirTex’s Project Tandem created a system from scratch that gave it unprecedented visibility to labor requirements and product flow. This allowed the company to dynamically shift labor resources and take advantage of opportunities to grow the business.

COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION LEADERSHIP

IBM Corporation

IBM’s Resolution Rooms project created a unique, cognitive collaboration platform that has changed the way people work by allowing them to collaborate synchronously and asynchronously across countries and time zones. With its ability to pull knowledge even from unstructured files and messages, the platform is part of an initiative that has generated $24 million in hard benefits.

IBM’s Ron Castro (second from right) and Kata Welchner accept the Manufacturing Leadership High Achiever Award in the Supply Chain Leadership category from the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s Jeff Moad (left) and Paul Tate.

IBM undertook an ambitious, multi-faceted transformation project that addressed everything from inventory management to used parts refurbishment.

CUSTOMER VALUE LEADERSHIP

Peterbilt Motors Company

Peterbilt’s Dynamic Trust Test Project led to a unique, dynamic road test protocol that can discover potential problems that were previously undetectable using standard static testing in the plant. Results included improved quality, rapid introduction of new features, and higher customer satisfaction.

ENGINE ERING AND PRODUCT ION TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

Lockheed Martin’s Mold-In-Place Inlet Coatings Project, a fusion of collaborative robotics, advanced metrology, and conformable composite tooling, created a system that can mold coatings directly to an aircraft’s contoured surface. This resulted in fewer production bottlenecks and labor cost savings of $27 million.

ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation

Ball’s Design through Delivery Scheduling System Project produced a new system that serves as the source of truth system for shop schedules, delivery dates, part status files, and other data. The initiative provided near real-time visibility of program execution activities and supercharged program execution performance.

INTERNET OF THINGS IN MANUFACTURING LEADERSHIP

Lexmark International, Inc.

Lexmark’s Predictive Service Project built predictive algorithms and models to take advantage of information collected from deep sensor data, alerts, and error messages that are produced by its printers in the field. Combined with an analytics engine, this allows Lexmark to automatically initiate service requests and reduce support costs.

MOBILITY IN MANUFACTURING LEADERSHIP

CommScope, Inc.

CommScope deployed PickandPack Mobile, an iOS mobile app that converted an ad-hoc logistics receiving and distribution processes into a systematized operation where all elements of the processes work together. As part of a multi-year digitization initiative, PickandPack saved $3 million in phase one of the project.

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE LEADERSHIP

Keysight Technologies, Inc.

Keysight launched a three-part lean transformation after spinning out from its parent company. It’s Lean Transformation Project resulted in an $18-million inventory reduction, 30% lead time reduction, and a 22% productivity improvement.

SMART PRODUCT LEADERSHIP

ARCA

ARCA built intelligence and connectivity into its cash handling machines operating in the field. It’s ARCA Care initiative means It is now able to do preventative maintenance before machines break, therefore saving money and improving customer service.

The NEW Manufacturing Alliance has made a dramatic impact by increasing enrollment in manufacturing-related degree programs at technical colleges by over 200 percent.

2017 Manufacturing Leadership Awards Judges

Brad Heath, CEO, VirTex Enterprises LP
Brad Martin, Chief Operating Officer, Senet
David R. Brousell, Co-Founder, Manufacturing Leadership Council
Dean L. Bartles, Director – John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center at the University of New Hampshire
Dennis Hoeg, Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering and Enterprise Systems, Nexteer Automotive
Jeff Gallinat, Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing Operations, Cisco Systems
John Fleming, Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Company (retired)
John Gagel, Global Senior Manager, Corporate Sustainability, Lexmark International
John M. Gercak,Vice President IT, Manufacturing Center of Excellence, Eaton Corp.
Joseph Parambo, Director, Product Programs, Test & Development Services, General Motors
Joseph J. Salvo, Executive Director, Digital Industrial Ecosystems, GE Global Research
Lloyd Colegrove, Director, Data Services and Fundamental Problem Solving, Analytical Technology Center, The Dow Chemical Company
Michael Packer, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Programs, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
Ronald Castro, Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain Execution, IBM Corp.
Val Zanchuk, President, Graphicast Inc.


Ann Franz of the NEW Manufacturing Alliance and Bill Bartnik of Sargento Foods and the New Manufacturing Alliance (second from left) accept the Manufacturing Leadership High Achiever Award in the Talent Management Leadership category from the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s Jeff Moad (left) and Paul Tate.

SUPPLY CHAIN LEADERSHIP

IBM Corporation

Facing intense cost pressures and increasing product complexity, IBM undertook an ambitious, multi-faceted transformation project that addressed everything from inventory management to used parts refurbishment. The company’s 5 Pillars of Supply Chain Operational Excellence Project resulted in tens of millions of dollars in inventory cost savings over the past three years.

SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP

People Against Dirty (Method Products)

People Against Dirty, through its South Side Soapbox Initiative, built a LEED platinum-certified plant in Chicago designed to be powered by the wind and sun. The plant doesn’t draw water from the Great Lakes, and will be 100% landfill-free. The plant includes a 75,000-square-foot rooftop greenhouse where food is produced for its urban neighborhood.

TALENT MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP

Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Manufacturing Alliance

The NEW Manufacturing Alliance came together in 2006 to focus on the development of talent in its region and to improve the image of manufacturing careers. It has made a dramatic impact by increasing enrollment in manufacturing-related degree programs at technical colleges by over 200 percent.

Manufacturing Leadership Awards Partners

ML Awards Partners provided leading technology solutions and expertise to select 2017 Manufacturing Leadership Awards winners.

  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • Demand Management, Inc.
  • iBASEt, Inc.
  • Exact Macola Division
  • Leading2Lean
  • Logility, Inc.
  • NextLabs, Inc.
  • Paper-Less LLC
  • Parsec Automation Corp.
  • Smartware Group, Inc.
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Tech Mahindra
  • Teradata Corp.

Keysight’s Lean Transformation Projectresulted in an $18-million inventory reduction, 30% lead time reduction, and a 22% productivity improvement.

Keysight Technologies’Brenna Roberts and Pat Harper (second from right accept the Operational Excellence Leadership High Achiever Award from the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s Jeff Moad (left) and Paul Tate