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 2017As 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
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.
Lifetime Achievement Award
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.