Cranfield School of Management is pleased to announce which factories have been shortlisted for the prestigious 2015 Best Factory Awards (BFA). The awards programme, now in its 24th year, celebrates manufacturing excellence in the UK and is run by Cranfield School of Management in partnership with the magazine Works Management. 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."

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."

This year 14 plants have been shortlisted:

  • 3M UK Plc, Newton Aycliffe
    Manufacturer of a range of disposable and reusable respirators.
  • Arla Foods, Aylesbury
    Processers of fresh milk, with all bottles made on site.
  • C P Electronics, London
    Makes energy saving controls for commercial, public sector and domestic lighting.
  • Diageo Plc, Leven
    Manufacturer and packaging of premium spirits.
  • Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems Ltd, Broadstairs
    Manufacturer of analogue and digital printing inks.
  • Heraeus Electronite (UK) Ltd, Chesterfield
    Manufacturer of measurement sensors for molten metal production.
  • Kohler Mira Ltd, Cheltenham 
    Design and manufacturer of domestic and commercial showering products and water temperature controls.
  • Leyland Trucks Ltd, Leyland
    Production of light, medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles.
  • Plastek UK Ltd, Mansfield
    Design and manufacturer of plastic packaging components, such as lids and actuators.
  • Siemens Plc, Digital Factory, Congleton
    Manufacturer of variable speed drives.
  • Siemens Magnet Technology, Eynsham, Oxford
    Manufacturer of large superconducting magnets for MRI scanners.
  • Tharsus Group, Blyth
    Creates and manufactures products for some of the UK’s most innovative organisations.
  • The Hut Group Myprotein, Warrington
    Manufacturer of MyProtein the UK’s No1 sports nutrition brand.
  • Vaillant Group, Belper
    Manufacturer of domestic condensing boilers.

In addition to the prestigious Factory of the Year Award, there are 13 other awards: Best Process Plant Award; Best Engineering Plant Award; Best Electronics and Electrical Plant Award; Best Household and General Products Plant Award; Best SME; People & Skills Development Award; Export Award; Supply Chain Award; Most Improved Plant Award; Health & Safety Award; Innovation Award; Energy and Environment Award and the Judges’ Special Award.

Max Gosney, group editor of Works Management, said: "From milk and vodka to heavy duty trucks and advanced electronic control systems - our finalists show the enormous breadth of products being made best by factories here in the UK. These 14 sites show how a shrewd business strategy twinned with assiduous quality control and an egalitarian managerial approach gives British sites the edge in the global economy."

All entrants receive a free benchmarking report comparing aspects of their plants' performance with the average for the sector.

The winners will be announced at the BFA Awards Ceremony taking place on 25 September in London

Notes for editors

The 2015 Best Factory Awards are sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK, IOSH, Brammer, Buck & Hickman and Atlas Copco.

Works Management is a leading industry journal, 64 years old this year, and renowned for covering best practice in the manufacturing sector. It is published by Findlay Media.

About Cranfield University

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