Harris Mason Facility Named IndustryWeek Best Plants Finalist for 2012

Mason, OH - Oct 10, 2012 :

IndustryWeek's Best Plants FinalistThe Harris Products Group facility in Mason, Ohio, has been named a 2012 Finalist for IndustryWeek’s Best Plants. The distinction is based on strong manufacturing performance and a comprehensive focus on continuous improvement.

“The Mason team has worked hard these past few years, and this is a great validation of their efforts in team-based lean Six Sigma usage,” said Dan Marascalchi, vice president of operations for Harris. “It exemplifies our commitment to the Operational Excellence pillar in Lincoln Electric’s Vision 2020 and is just one stop on the way to fulfilling that vision.”

Dave Nangle, president of The Harris Products Group, said the honor highlights the operations teams’ commitment to continuous improvement across the organization and dedication to the vision.

“To be named one of the best manufacturing plants in the nation is a testament to our team members’ recognition that they each play a role in the success of Harris and Lincoln Electric. Every day, they strive to make a difference and live out the Lincoln Electric vision,” Nangle said. “We look forward to their continued efforts and know that we will be successful because of their teamwork and commitment to excellence.”

To be considered for the award, the facility leaders completed a comprehensive application earlier this year, describing the plant’s accomplishments, improvements and operations in multiple categories, including Management Practices, Quality Achievements, Employment Practices, Safety, Customer Focus, Supply Chain and Logistics, Technology, Manufacturing & Flexibility, Maintenance, Inventory Management, Environmental Stewardship and Competiveness & Market Results.

“For us, it’s a forum to see how this plant benchmarks next to the best plants in North America,” said Rob Temple, plant manager in Mason. “It’s one thing when I tell the team we’re doing the right things. It’s further validation for the team when they hear it from an outside group.”

“The employees at Harris Mason have embraced manufacturing excellence and continuous improvement to serve our customers,” he said. “A tremendous amount of time, effort and, most importantly, new ideas and perspectives from employees and their willingness to make the changes necessary was the key to achieving this recognition.”

The application used operations metrics from 2008 as a benchmark and compared progress over a three-year period, 2009-2011. In the application, The Harris Products Group stressed five primary objectives:

  1. Safety & Environmental Responsibility is an Integral Part of Being an HPG Associate
  2. Quality is Built into All Operations
  3. Customer Service Drives Improvement (Internal and External)
  4. Beat our EBITB Goals
  5. Team-based Problem Solving Using Lean/Six Sigma Tools

The Harris Mason facility made the first cut and was then asked to submit responses to six additional questions concerning cost improvement projects, first-pass yield, cycle times, on-time delivery, inventory reduction and productivity improvement. The follow-up also included testimonials from customers and information about the plant’s distinction as the 2011 Lincoln Electric EHS Chairman’s Award winner.

Temple said sharing the distinction of finalist with many well-known names also demonstrates that The Harris Products Group is an industry leader. Other finalists include a Harris customer, the Carrier Corp. in Indianapolis, as well as Harley-Davidson Motor Co., La-Z-Boy, and Lockheed Martin. It also serves as a great recruitment tool to attract top manufacturing talent.

The winners will be profiled in the January 2013 issue of IndustryWeek.  And when the plant wins – “I’m a firm believer we are going to win this thing,” Temple said – the status can be used to raise the company’s profile and share the distinction with customers.

“I looked to the teams inside these walls and ask them how we can help sell products, not just make them,” he said. “This is one way we can help do that.”

To see a complete list of finalists and learn more about the award, visit www.industryweek.com/quality/2012-industryweeks-best-plants-finalists-named.

About Harris Products Group
The Harris Products Group, a Lincoln Electric Company, is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of cutting, welding, brazing, and soldering equipment and consumables and gas distribution systems. Harris Products Group products are sold and used in more than 90 countries.

Contact Information:
Ira Vea Bennett, Director of Marketing
The Harris Products Group
2345 Murphy Boulevard
Gainesville, GA 30504-6000
Tel:  678.928.3772
Fax:  770.535.8358
Email:  ira_bennett@lincolnelectric.com