Lockheed Martin plant wins ‘Nobel prize of manufacturing’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Special to The Messenger

Lockheed Martin’s Pike County Operations facility in Troy is a winner of the 2002 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.

Referred to by Business Week magazine as the "Nobel prize of manufacturing" (May 15, 2000), the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing is awarded annually for performance through lean principles and techniques in core manufacturing and business processes. The prize is administered by The College of Business, Utah State University, in cooperation with several non-profit and corporate organizations.

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The announcement was made on Tuesday.

Lockheed Martin Pike County was recognized by the Shingo Prize organization selection committee as one of 14 large business recipients of its 14th annual awards. Thirteen U.S. plants earned this prestigious award for 2002 in addition to four businesses in Mexico. The competition is open each year to businesses in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

"We are very excited about receiving the Shingo Prize" said Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations plant manager Randy Stevenson. "This award validates our dedication to manufacturing excellence and our commitment to bringing the best value to our customers through the elimination of non-essential activities in manufacturing processes."

According to Shingo Prize executive director, Ross Robson, this program is the only industrial excellence award that focuses on lean manufacturing or the elimination of waste. "Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations was recognized for creating a business environment that empowers and motivates teammates to achieve business successes and continuous improvement. This winning culture and the infrastructure that supports it enables each teammate to realize personal ownership for the success of the organization," said Robson.

In 1991, the Pike County Operations facility was selected as the location for a manufacturing, final assembly, test, and storage operation for the many missile programs of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, located in Orlando, Fla.

Since operations began in 1994, the facility has gained recognition as Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Strike Weapons Center of Excellence and has received several notable awards: Industry Week’s Top Ten America’s Best Plant Award in 1997, the Alabama Quality Award in 1998 and 2000, and the Alabama Team Showcase Award in 1998 and 2000. Since 1994, the initial labor force of 30 employees has grown to the current base of just over 250.

The Shingo Prize is named in honor of the late Dr. Shigeo Shingo, an engineering genius who helped create the Toyota

Production System and other related lean manufacturing processes.

Awards will be presented at the 14th Annual Shingo Prize Conference and Awards Ceremony to be held the week of April 8, 2002 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.