Siemens Magnet Technology, a world leader in the design and manufacture of magnets for MRI body scanners, has been named Britain’s best factory at the 2015 Best Factory Awards (BFA) held today (25 September) in London. 

The awards ceremony, hosted by Cranfield School of Management in partnership with Works Management magazine, brought together some of the UK’s leading manufacturers to celebrate British manufacturing at its best.

As well as winning the accolade of Factory of the Year, Siemens also picked up two further awards:  Best Engineering Plant Award and People and Skills Development Award.

More than 30 per cent of the world’s hospitals have MRI scanners that have been manufactured by Siemens at their Eynsham plant in Oxfordshire.

Marek Szwejczewski, Director of the Best Factory Awards and Professor of Operations Strategy at Cranfield, said: “Making a superconducting magnet is not an easy job, the potential for production delays is very high, yet the Siemens plant makes it look smooth and effortless. The plant has achieved operational excellence through implementing lean manufacturing and other modern approaches as well as building a motivated and engaged workforce.”

Now in their 24th year, the BFA 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.

Marek went on to say: “We read a lot about the poor performance of UK manufacturing and especially the productivity gap that exists between us and other major manufacturing nations. However a visit to any of this year’s award winners quickly erases this misconception. This year’s winners show just what can be achieved by adopting best practices, undertaking process and product innovation and encouraging continuous improvement across the operation.”

Works Management editor Max Gosney said: “Our winners show some enviable qualities that are hallmarks of UK manufacturing. The refusal to standstill. Tirelessly innovating to ensure their products lead where others follow. The compulsion to seek out the small improvements that add up into a monumental performance gain. And the clairvoyant-like understanding of customer needs and how to exceed them."   

  • The winners and highly commended plants for 2015 are as follows:
  • Factory of the Year: Siemens Magnet Technology
  • Best Process Plant Award: Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems Ltd
  • Best Engineering Plant Award: Siemens Magnet Technology
  • Highly Commended: Vaillant Industrial UK Ltd
  • Best Electronics and Electrical Plant Award: Siemens Digital Factory
  • Best Household and General Products Plant Award: 3M UK Plc
  • Best SME Award: Tharsus Group Ltd
  • People and Skills Development Award: Siemens Magnet Technology
  • Supply Chain Award: Leyland Trucks Ltd
  • Highly Commended: Kohler Mira Ltd
  • Most Improved Plant Award: Vaillant Industrial UK Ltd
  • Health & Safety Award: Diageo Plc
  • Highly Commended: Heraeus Electro-nite (UK) Ltd
  • Export Award: Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems Ltd
  • Highly Commended: Diageo Plc
  • Innovation Award: Arla Foods
  • Highly Commended: Kohler Mira Ltd
  • Energy & Environment Award: Vaillant Industrial UK Ltd
  • The Judges’ Special Award: Plastek UK Ltd
  • Highly Commended: CP Electronics
  • Highly Commended: The Hut Group (Myprotein)
The award winners were named at a prestigious ceremony held in London. All entrants received a benchmarking report on their plants' performance.

Notes for editors

Photographs from the ceremony are available on request.

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

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.