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Top Manufacturing Leadership Awards Winners Show that M4.0 Is Transforming the Industry

Posted By Jeff Moad, June 15, 2016 at 4:44 PM, in Category: Transformative Technologies

FS_ML_winner_logo2016.jpgWhen the top winners of the 12th annual Manufacturing Leadership Awards were unveiled at a gala celebration on June 8, one thing became quite clear: The digital transformation that the Manufacturing 4.0 era promises is much more than a theory or a metaphor. Manufacturing leaders across a wide range of markets—from automotive to high technology—are becoming more efficient, more agile, and delivering more customer value by embracing the convergence of physical and cyber systems.

A well-known example is industrial giant General Electric which was honored as the ML Awards’ Manufacturer of the Year/Large Enterprise. GE was recognized for its development of the Industrial Internet Consortium, a 2-year-old industry consortium that is leveraging the power of 3,500 members and representing 250 organizations from 25 countries, to drive the Manufacturing 4.0 era by breaking down technology silos, improving machine-to-machine communications, and bringing the physical and digital worlds closer together.

Central to the Industrial Internet Consortium’s work has been the creation of 10 test beds, where members can build, test, and perfect real-world Industrial Internet applications. Among them is the High-Speed Optical Network Testbed” – launched in early 2015 and based on a newly-installed super-fast state-of–the-art fiber link to Internet 2. A recently-announced agreement will link plants in China with the rest of the world through the Industrial Internet.

And GE itself is building on the IIC’s work to transform its 400 plants into brilliant factories, an effort that the company expects will generate $500 million in increased productivity by the end of this year.

But, alongside GE were many lesser-known manufacturing leaders that won top ML Awards honors for projects that are pushing M4.0 forward significantly. One was Senet, Inc., a start-up that has pioneered a new long-range, low-bandwidth, low-cost networking technology that enables sensor networks and IoT applications at a fraction of the cost of traditional cellular networks. Senet’s network, now covering 150,000 square miles, is made possible by a proprietary macro-cell gateway that Senet manufactures. The first application using Senet’s network, EnerTrac, allows oil and propane distributors to remotely monitor tanks. Dealers using EnerTrac have been able to reduce expensive deliveries by 30%, cutting costs and emissions. Now Senet is working with larger partners to expand into smart farming and electric water metering. 

Also receiving top ML Awards were two individuals who have pushed their companies and the industry forward through the exemplary leadership. John Fleming, Ford Motor Company’s recently-retired top manufacturing executive, was honored as Manufacturing Leader of the Year. After Ford boldly redesigned the F-150 truck around a groundbreaking all-aluminum body, Fleming and his team reengineered and rebuilt F-150 manufacturing in record time. This allowed Ford to reintroduce its flagship vehicle and get the new model into the hands of waiting buyers, keeping the F-Series the best-selling vehicle in America for the 34th straight year.

And the ML Awards presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Charles W. Hull, co-founder and chief technology officer of 3D Systems, in honor of his invention of stereolithography, the first commercial rapid prototyping technology commonly known as 3D printing.

Several winners of the program’s 2016 High Achiever Awards were honored for projects that also represent prime examples of the shift to M4.0. (High Achievers are those ML Awards winners that received the highest judges’ scores in each of the 12 ML Awards categories.)

Among those High Achiever winners were The Dow Chemical Company in the Big Data and Analytics in Manufacturing Category for its Operations Analytics with Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence Initiative which turned terabytes of manufacturing data generated each day into useful information. By putting data and key manufacturing indicators into the hands of decision-makers in real time, Dow was able to anticipate challenges and improve operations and behaviors across entire plants.

Also honored as a High Achiever, in the Internet of Things in Manufacturing Category for its Wearable Technology in the Plant Project was AGCO Corporation. By building automated inspection applications into Google Glass, AGCO allowed operators to keep their hands free while doing their jobs with more accuracy and efficiency.

And Lexmark International, Inc. received a High Achiever Award in the Enterprise Technology Leadership Category for its Enterprise Social Networking Project which created an enterprise social network for employees around the world, replacing a collection of disconnected drives and web pages that inhibited innovation. The social network has become the go-to way for Lexmark employees to communicate, driving collaboration and engagement and enabling everyone in the company to find the information and expertise they need, when they need it.

In the Supply Chain Leadership Category, Cisco Systems, Inc., was the High Achiever for its Supply Collaboration Platform Project which created a best-of-breed supply chain collaboration platform that allowed the company to re-engineer supply-demand and inventory management in its very complex, outsourced supply network. Used by over 300 global suppliers and over 30 manufacturing partners, the Supply Chain Collaboration platform has become the single source of truth for this company’s global supply network and has dramatically decreased cycle time for shortage resolution, and reduced the number of cases requiring direct involvement from commodity managers and planners.

Other 2016 Manufacturing Leadership Award High Achievers were:

•          The Dow Chemical Company in the Customer Value Leadership Category for its Pack Studios Project;

•          Kostal of America, Inc. in the Engineering and Production Technology Leadership Category for its Advanced Manufacturing Assembly Lines Project;

•          Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in the Innovation Process Leadership Category for its Automated Drilling and Fastening Systems Integration Using Reverse Engineering Project;

•          The Boeing Company in the Mobility in Manufacturing Leadership Category for its Go4Zero - One Day at a Time Project;

•          The Dow Chemical Company in the New Product Leadership Category for its Dow AgroSciences Arylex ™ Project;

•          General Motors Company  in the Next-Generation Leadership Category for its Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education Project;

•          Peterbilt Motors Company in the Operational Excellence Leadership Category for the Truck Assembly Process Efficiency Project;

•          Lexmark International, Inc. in the Sustainability Leadership Category for its TonerPave Project.

Winners of the Manufacturing Leadership Awards are identified by a judging panel composed of renowned manufacturing leaders. Members of the 2016 ML Awards Judging Panel were:

•          Billy Bardin, Global Operations Technology Director, The Dow Chemical Company

•          Dean Bartles, Executive Director, Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute at UI LABS, and Member, Manufacturing Leadership Council Board of Governors;

•          Jill Bellak, President and Chief Operating Officer, MBX Systems;

•          Ronald Castro, Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain Execution, IBM Corp.;

•          John Gagel, Corporate Manager, Sustainability, Lexmark International, Inc.;

•          John Gercak, Vice President IT, Industrial Sector, Manufacturing Center of Excellence, Eaton Corp. ;

•          Brad Heath, CEO, VirTex Enterprise, and Member, Manufacturing Leadership Council Board of Governors;

•          Dennis Hoeg, Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering and Enterprise Systems, Nexteer Automotive;

•          Morris Lenczicki, Vice President, L’Oreal;

•          Michael Maher, Program Manager, Defense Sciences Office, DARPA;

•          Joseph Parambo, Director, Product Programs, Test, and Development Services, General Motors Company;

•          Allan Rae, Executive Director, American Axle and Manufacturing (retired);

•          Val Zanchuk, President, Graphicast Inc., and Member, Manufacturing Leadership Council Board of Governors;

Nominations for the 2017 Manufacturing Leadership Awards will open in August. More information is available at http://mlawards.gilcommunity.com/

Written by Jeff Moad

Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit

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