IndustryWeek reveals North America’s best manufacturing facilities
In its 29th year, The Best Plants...
Leading manufacturing publication, IndustryWeek has revealed the best manufacturing facilities across North America.
In its 29th year, The Best Plants Awards programme seeks to recognise those who are utilising cutting edge technologies, increased competitiveness, rewarding environemnts and guaranteed customer satisfaction. Additionally, a further goal of the list is to encourage other manufacturing managers and work teams to emulate the honourees by adopting world-class practices, technologies, and improvement strategies.
We take a look at the six plants recognised for going above and beyond within the manufacturing sector.
Facility location: West Point, Georgia
Automotive parts manufacturer Adient was originally established in Dublin, Ireland but has since expanded internationally. Partnering with Boeing in 2018 to manufacturer airline seats, the company continues to expand its global presence, where one in three automotive seats worldwide are now manufactured by the juggernaut.
Its mission to “be the world-class automotive seating supplier through leadership in cost, quality, launch execution and customer satisfaction,” will see the business leverage new trends and cater to the global demands for lighter, more sustainable products, fully sharpening its focus on innovation across its products and services. – in automotive seating and beyond.
2. Applied Technical Services (ATS), Washington Operations
Facility location: Everett, Washington
A consulting engineerting firm with a diverse portfolio, spanning manufacturing, automotive, chemical and construction, ATS is renowned for its strong reputation, quality products and commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.
3. Intertape Polymer Group
Facility location: Blythewood, South Carolina
With 23 plants across North America, Intertape Polymer Group remains a key leader in supporting manufacturers and retailers in essential packaging products and services. Not only that, the company is also at the forefront of the coated fabrics industry, where its products have been designed to support the growing aerospace and automotive industries.
- JinkoSolar launches its new solar manufacturing facility
- HPE and Continental to launch blockchain platform for sharing vehicle data
- AT&T and Vodafone Business partner, driving seamless IoT connectivity in the automotive sector
- Read the latest issue of Manufacturing Global here
4. Johnson Controls
Facility location: Norman, Oklahoma
Throughout the production of automotive parts, Johnson Controls is on its 2025 Sustainability journey, and has sought to reduce its GHG emissions by more than 40% across its 2,000 global locaitons.
5. The Raymond Corporation
Facility location: Greene, New York
In this business for close to 100 years, The Raymond Corporation has been a key figure in the manufacturing and construction industries. Providing essential technologies, products and solutions, the company has more than 100 locations across North America, and has built a strong network to cater to the growing needs of its customers.
6. T&S Brass and Bronze Works Inc.
Facility location: Travelers Rest, South Carolina
A Leading manufacturer across the industrial, commercial plumbing and laboratory markets, T&S Brass and Bronze Works has continued to drive increased levels of customer satisfaction whilst expanding its global presence across Europe, the US and Canada, southeast Asia and Australia.
A member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the company will continue to look for more sustainable ways to design and construct new buildings and retrofit xisting ones, in roder to provide a mutltiude of benefits to both customers and the environment.
The 2018 winners will be honoured during an awards ceremony at the 2019 Manufacturing & Technology 2019, an IndustryWeek event set to be held on April 1-3, 2019 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Hexagon Revolutionises Manufacturing Design Process
A global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions, Hexagon recently announced that complex CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations can now be completed with the help of the world’s fastest supercomputer, Fugaku. Before this breakthrough, CFD simulations were far too expensive and time-consuming to run. Now, however, engineers can use these high-detail simulations to explore new ideas, iterate their designs, and optimise next-gen aircraft and electric vehicle manufacturing.
Thanks to Hexagon, manufacturers can now analyse what they’re up against before starting their build process—with one-third the energy use of traditional simulations and a fraction of the cost. This is only the latest step in Hexagon’s mission to use design and engineering data to speed up smart manufacturing. As the company wrote: ‘The idea of putting data to work is part of Hexagon’s DNA’.
What Are CFD Simulations?
Simply put, they’re simulations so complex and powerful that engineers usually have to spend hours upon hours simplifying their designs. 90% of an engineer’s time can centre around this task—but not with Fugaku-powered simulations. Now, original designs can be fed into the simulation software, reaching a much closer approximation of reality.
With the ARM-powered Fugaku supercomputer, Hexagon’s Cradle CFD clients can now reduce simulation cost, conserve valuable energy, and integrate high-detail simulations into their daily operations. At a time when the automotive and aerospace industries are racing to bring safe and sustainable transport options to market, in fact, CFD simulations could be the key to success.
How Does CFD Change the Game?
As auto manufacturers transition to electric vehicles, they must understand how design adjustments will affect the vehicle in real-time. Instead of physically iterating their blueprints, they’d rather work it out in theory. With CFD, engineers can now pre-test critical safety, performance, and longevity features—for example, how aerodynamics will interact with energy efficiency, or how thermal management will operate under a range of parameters. Essentially, CFD simulations speed up the design process and cut down on costly mistakes.
Said Roger Assaker, President of Design & Engineering in Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division: ‘Simulation holds the key to innovations in aerospace and eMobility. Advances such as the low-power Fugaku supercomputing architecture are one of the ways we can tap into these insights without costing the Earth, and I am delighted by what our Cradle CFD team and our partners have achieved’.
How Did Testing Unfold?
- Prototyped a typical family car. This is only possible with enhanced computing power. The car model consisted of 70 million elements using 960 cores and was simulated until it reached a steady-state using the RANS equation over 1000 cycles.
- Simulated transonic compressible fluid around an aeroplane. Made up of approximately 230 million elements, the simulation used 4,000 nodes using 192,000 computing cores and relied on 48,000 processes via Message Passing Interface (MPI).
Tomohiro Irie, Hexagon’s Director of R&D for Cradle CFD, commented on the recent progress: ‘I expect that these technical developments will contribute to making the power of Fugaku more accessible for general use, bringing huge freedom and improved insights to engineering teams solving tomorrow’s problems today’.
Overall, Hexagon intends to continue driving product innovation forward, with smart manufacturing that adapts to conditions in real-time, pursues perfect quality, and optimises designs for zero waste. And there’s little doubt about it. With 20,000 employees in 50 countries, coupled with Fugaku’s supercomputing capabilities, Hexagon is uniquely poised to succeed.