Cranfield School of Management has announced which factories have been shortlisted for its prestigious 2016 Best Factory Awards (BFA).

The awards, now in their 25th year, celebrate manufacturing excellence in the UK. Among the contenders for the coveted overall prize of BFA Factory of the Year are companies that make goods as varied as nutrition supplements, superconducting magnets and showering products.

Professor Marek Szwejczewski, Director of the Best Factory Awards, commented: “Our awards recognise and honour those UK manufacturers who are leading the way when it comes to continuous improvement and delivering superior results for their customers. The factories on this year’s shortlist have all demonstrated a clear commitment to improving performance. The finalists were driven by a desire to improve, to excel. They stressed the value they got from benchmarking themselves and the importance of visiting exemplar plants to learn from them and to take away any good ideas - to pinch with pride.”

Marek went on to say: “We often hear that UK manufacturing productivity is in the doldrums, however when visiting this year’s finalists we have found factories that have been improving productivity year after year. Any manufacturer interested in improving performance should take note of the practices and approaches adopted by our chosen finalists. To learn from them just as they have learnt from others.”

This year 15 plants have been shortlisted:

3M UK Plc, Aycliffe
Manufacturer of a range of disposable and reusable respirators

Analox Ltd, Stokesley, North Yorkshire
Design and manufacture of safety equipment such as gas sensors and analysers

Arla Foods, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury
Producers of bottled milk for supermarkets

Balmoral Tanks Ltd, Pontyclun
Design and manufacture of GRP storage tanks and pressed steel tanks

Brose Ltd, Coventry
Manufacturer of automotive parts including car seat frames, and window regulators

Coty Manufacturing UK Ltd, Ashford
Manufacturer of colour cosmetics such as mascara, lipstick and eyeshadow

Coveris, Boston
Printer of self-adhesive paper and flexible labels

Diageo Plc, Leven
Manufacture and packaging of premium spirits

Domino Printing Sciences, Cambridge
Manufacturer of Industrial coding inkjet printers

Entek International Ltd, Killingworth, Newcastle upon Tyne
Manufacturer of PE/silica battery separators for batteries supplied to the automotive industry

Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems Ltd, Broadstairs
Manufacturer of analogue and digital printing inks

Herman Miller Ltd, Melksham
Manufacturer of high quality seating for offices

Kohler Mira Ltd, Melton
Design and manufacturer of resin stone/acrylic shower trays, shower wall panels, and baths accessories

Lear Corporation, Houghton Le Spring
Manufacturer of Automotive seats for Nissan Qashqai

SPTS Technologies, Newport
Manufacturer of advanced capital equipment used in the manufacture of semi-conductors

In addition to the prestigious Factory of the Year Award, there are 13 other awards: Best Electronics and Electrical Plant Award; Best Engineering Plant Award; Best Household and General Products Plant Award; Best Process Plant Award; Best SME; Continuous Improvement Award; Energy and Environment Award; Export Award; Health & Safety Award; Innovation Award; Most Improved Plant Award; People & Skills Development Award; Supply Chain Award. Each entrant receives a free benchmarking report comparing aspects of their plant’s performance with the average for the sector.

The winners will be announced at the BFA 2016 Awards Ceremony taking place on 14 October at the National Motorcycle Museum and Conference Centre in Birmingham.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield has been a world leader in management education and research for over 50 years, helping individuals and organisations learn and succeed by transforming knowledge into action. We are dedicated to creating responsible management thinking, improving business performance and inspiring the next generation of business leaders. We work to change the lives of our students and executives by encouraging innovation and creative thinking, as well as the drive to succeed and make a real impact on their organisations.

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