MRO Magazine

2018 Manufacturing Leadership Awards program honours leaders of industry transformation

June 18, 2018 | By The Canadian Press

Santa Clara, Calif. – The 14th Annual Manufacturing Leadership (ML) Awards Gala, produced by Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council, announced the winners of the 2018 ML Awards at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa where they were recognized for their outstanding manufacturing achievements.

The program’s distinguished panel of expert judges honoured Peter Holicki, the top manufacturing executive at The Dow Chemical Company, as the Manufacturing Leader of the Year for his multifaceted achievements in 2017, which included leading Dow’s historic capacity expansion while maintaining unprecedented worker safety levels, helping to drive Dow’s Manufacturing 4.0 transformation and innovations in preparing the next-generation manufacturing workforce.

IBM was selected as Manufacturer of the Year in the Large Enterprise category. The much-deserved award recognized IBM for establishing itself as a paragon of Manufacturing 4.0 transformation by innovating the use of advanced technologies such as machine learning but also by embracing the notion that leadership and a reskilled workforce will be necessary to drive digital transformation.

Manufacturer of the Year, Small/Medium Enterprise was awarded to robot manufacturer Universal Robots. The company was recognized for its pioneering work in creating and popularizing collaborative robots, which are helping manufacturers of all sizes cope with intense cost pressures and customer demand for high mix, low volume production.


“All of the top winners of the 2018 Manufacturing Leadership Awards can be proud that they are at the forefront of driving Manufacturing 4.0 transformation,” said David R. Brousell, Co-Founder of Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. “I congratulate these manufacturers and the leadership teams that made their achievements possible.”

Also honored at the ML Awards Gala was Richard E. Morley, father of the programmable logic controller, who was presented with the Manufacturing Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award. As a pioneer in plant automation, Morley helped establish a firm foundation for the Manufacturing 4.0 digital revolution that is now gaining momentum. Ten recipients of ML High Achiever Awards were also announced. The High Achiever Awards are presented to a select group of ML Award-winning projects. These ML Award winners received the most votes from the judges in each of the 10 ML Award project categories.

Winners of the High Achiever Awards were:

  • HP Inc. in the Collaborative Innovation Leadership Category for its Open Materials Platform Project;
  • IBM Corp. in the Data and Advanced Analytics Leadership Category for its Watson Approach to Optical Quality Project;
  • Merck & Company in the Engineering and Production Technology Leadership Category for its Design, Evaluation, and Implementation of Single-Use Components for Ebola Zaire Vaccine Drug Substance Manufacturing Project;
  • Johnson Controls in the Enterprise Technology Leadership Category for its Enterprise IT Tools Supporting JCMS Project;
  • Bosch Mondeville in the Internet of Things in Manufacturing Leadership for its Factory of the Future Project;
  • Triumph International in the Operational Excellence Leadership Category for its Lean Enterprise Transformational & Sustainability Model Project;
  • Universal Robots the Smart Product and Services Leadership Category for its UR3, the UR5, and the UR10 Project;
  • Merck & Company in the Supply Chain Leadership Category for its Product/SKU Optimization Project;
  • The Dow Chemical Company in the Sustainability Leadership Category for its Sustainability – Leading the Industry Initiative;
  • IBM Corp. in the Talent Management Leadership Category for its Competency & Talent Acceleration for Advanced Manufacturing Initiative.

Winners of the Manufacturing Leadership Partner Awards were also recognized. These technology providers played key roles in helping many ML Award winners achieve outstanding performance.

Winners of the Manufacturing Leadership Partner Award include:

Adexa, Inc.; Autodesk; Demand Management, Inc.; iBASEt; JDA Software Group; Leading2Lean; Macola Software; Oracle Corporation; Quintiq; Teradata.

About the Manufacturing Leadership Council

Established in 2008, the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s mission is to inspire and support manufacturing executives to achieve transformational growth for themselves, their companies, and the industry at large through enlightened leadership. With around 1,000 senior-level members from many of the world’s leading manufacturing companies, the Council focuses on the intersection of advanced technologies and the business, identifying growth and improvement opportunities in the operation, organization and leadership of manufacturing enterprises as they pursue their journeys to Manufacturing 4.0. In support of its mission, the Council produces an extensive portfolio of thought-leading content, networking events, research, industry awards, and professional development products, programs, and services for its members.

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