‘Commitment to enterprise excellence’ – Accuride wheel plant awarded

Accuride Corporation’s steel wheel manufacturing plant in Henderson (Kentucky, UK) is one of four companies receiving a 2014 Manufacturing Excellence Award from non-profit enterprise improvement organisation the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME). An AME will visit the plant today to present the award, and Accuride will also be honoured during the 2014 AME International Excellence Inside Conference, which will be held in Florida between 10 and 14 November.

The Manufacturing Excellence Award recognises North American manufacturing plants that have “demonstrated excellence in manufacturing and business” and places an emphasis on acknowledging continuous improvement, best practices, creativity, and innovation. The AME considered that the Henderson Operations facility showed “impressive commitment to implementing enterprise excellence at all levels.”

The Manufacturing Excellence Award selection process begins when a company submits an achievement report based on the AME Manufacturing Excellence Award evaluation criteria. The AME Award assessment team evaluates these achievement reports, and companies that achieve the required score then undergo a site visit that can last up to two days. Award recipients are selected based on the combined results of the achievement report review and site visit feedback. Only a handful of applications merit a site visit and approximately one third of the visits result in a site being recognised as an award recipient.

“Although a significant number of companies submit applications for these awards, only a select few make it through to our final round of considerations,” said AME president Paul Kuchuris. “AME Manufacturing Excellence Award recipients are truly a class above the rest. When you see these facilities in person, you’re witnessing the pinnacle of operational excellence in action.”

“Accuride is deeply honoured to have our Henderson Operations steel wheel plant chosen as a 2014 AME Manufacturing Excellence Award recipient,” added Accuride president and CEO Rick Dauch. “This recognition demonstrates our Henderson team’s dedication to continuous improvement and the results that can be achieved when a manufacturing facility wholeheartedly embraces the principles of lean manufacturing.”

During their evaluation, the AME assessment team noted the Accuride Henderson facility exhibited an impressive commitment to implementing enterprise excellence at all levels. They were particularly struck by the facility’s dedication to performance improvement through foundational adjustments, noting that “the plant has made a major commitment to raise its level of performance and have chosen many of the principles of the lean enterprise as the foundation for driving the business.”

Accuride’s Henderson facility produces steel wheels for the North American commercial vehicle industry and was established in 1974. Today, it encompasses 306,000 square feet on 130 acres (28,400 square metres on 53 hectares). The facility recently underwent a more than US$6 million coating system upgrade and is home to Accuride’s North American wheels research and development, product development and testing facilities, and produces more than 10,000 wheels daily for the heavy truck industry.

In addition to Accuride Henderson, 2014 Manufacturing Excellence Awards were also given to Ethicon, NovAtel, and Ventana Medical Systems.

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