The Brose plant in Coventry has been crowned Britain’s Best Factory at the 2016 Best Factory Awards hosted at the end of last week (Friday 14 October) at the National Motorcycle Museum and Conference Centre, Solihull.

Now in their 25th year, the Awards are run by Cranfield School of Management, and aim to recognise and reward manufacturing excellence across the country.

The Brose Coventry plant makes and supplies essential car parts such as seat frames and window regulators to several automobile manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota. With the most modern robotic welding technology and full traceability of parts, the company’s Coventry plant is one of the most advanced in the Brose Group.

The plant’s success is evident from a number of key factors including:

  • its technical capability and performance, which have helped it win extensive business for its car seat frames over the last six years;
  • its quality performance is competitive – faulty parts per million (PPM) levels decreased by 55% between 2014 and 2015, and they are projected to fall by 90% in 2016;  and
  • an average of 32% floor space reduction per product line achieved in the last 12 months.

Marek Szwejczewski, Director of the Best Factory Awards and Professor of Operations Strategy at Cranfield, commented: “Over the last 25 years, UK manufacturing has seen a huge amount of growth and the industry continues to develop rapidly. As a world leader in the industry, it is absolutely essential to recognise and enhance manufacturing talent, and it has been great to see such a wide range of areas from inkjet systems to gas sensor analysers in this year’s BFA shortlist.”

“Customer satisfaction is at the heart of business success and Brose Limited has really made this a focal point with zero missed deliveries in the last year as well as improved quality performance.”

Toyota Material Handling UK, the world’s number one manufacturer of materials handling equipment, has sponsored the Best Factory Awards for over a decade and plays a key role in supporting Cranfield to facilitate an environment where businesses can share their manufacturing knowledge and experiences.

The Best Factory Conference, taking place from 26 - 27 April 2017 in Oxford, will provide an opportunity for manufacturers to hear how the best in the business transformed their factories into world-class performers. To register for the conference and for further details, contact Sandra Marinaro on

The winners and highly commended plants for 2016 are as follows:

  • Process Plant: Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems (Broadstairs, Kent)
  • Best Engineering Plant: Brose Limited (Exhall, Coventry)
  • Best Electronics and Electrical Plant: Domino Printing Sciences (Cambridge)
  • Best Household and General Products Plant: COTY Inc., Ashford Factory (Ashford, Kent)
  • Best SME: Analox Limited (Stokesley, North Yorkshire)
  • Continuous Improvement Award:  Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems (Broadstairs, Kent)
  • Energy and Environment Award: Coveris (Boston, Lincolnshire)
  • Export Award: SPTS Technologies an Orbotech company (Newport, Wales)
  • Health and Safety Award: Diageo International Supply Centre – Leven Packaging (Leven, Scotland)
  • Innovation Award: SPTS Technologies an Orbotech company  (Newport, Wales)
  • Most Improved Plant: Entek International Limited (Killingworth, Newcastle upon Tyne)
  • People and Skills Development Award: 3M UK Plc (Newton Aycliffe, County Durham)
  • Supply Chain Award: Arla Foods (Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire)
  • Factory of the Year: Brose Limited (Exhall, Coventry)

Highly Commended Plants:

  • Lear Corporation - Sunderland JIT Plant (Houghton Le Spring, County Durham)
  • Balmoral Tanks Limited (Leven, Scotland)
  • Kohler Mira Hull (Melton, East Yorkshire)
  • Herman Miller Limited (Melksham, Wiltshire)

Notes for editors

For further information please contact: 
Katherine Lakeland, Cranfield University. T: +44 (0) 1234 75 4425

About the Best Factory Awards 2016

The factory is part of Brose Limited, a six billion Euro family-owned business. Photographs from the award ceremony are available on request.

The Brose factory’s excellent technical capability, its manufacturing expertise and operational performance has secured it the top accolade of Toyota Material Handling UK Factory of the Year and also the Best Engineering Plant Award.

The 2016 Best Factory Awards are sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK, Siemens Healthineers, and High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

About Cranfield University

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