Who are The Best Manufacturers in Britain? And do you have what it takes to join them?

Posted on 24 Feb 2020 by The Manufacturer

The cream of UK industry takes a bow in The Manufacturer Opus 2020, a glossy new book published by The Manufacturer. Read on to find out how you can be in the 2021 edition!

Household-name companies such as BMW, Caterpillar Marine Power UK, Siemens UK, and GSK rub shoulders with up and coming manufacturers that exemplify the spirit of innovation and productivity in UK industry.

Inclusion in The Manufacturer Opus 2020 was only open to companies who had made the shortlist of finalists for The Manufacturer MX (Manufacturing Excellence) Awards 2019.

The awards programme, operated by The Manufacturer in partnership with the Institution for Mechanical Engineering (IMechE), is the most rigorous of its kind in the UK and is regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the UK’s industrial sector.

The Manufacturer of the Year 2019: BMW Group Plants Oxford and Swindon - image courtesy of The Manufacturer.

Among the array of winners, announced at a glittering ceremony in November 2019 during Digital Manufacturing Week in Liverpool, BMW – MINI Plants Oxford and Swindon were judged Manufacturer of the Year, with Domino Printing Sciences, part of the global Brother group, runner-up.

Other winners included JJ Churchill, an engineering company that has its roots in the dawn of the jet engine age before World War Two, and which today makes gas turbine compressor blades for Rolls-Royce plc and other global aerospace manufacturers. Award-winning companies like this may not make it to the daily business pages, but their contribution to the UK economy is immense.

The Manufacturer Opus has been produced for the past six years to identify, showcase and promote the best manufacturers in Britain and explain their achievements, their skills and in turn highlight the fantastic careers that industry offers.

The publication of The Manufacturer Opus 2020 coincides with the opening of entries for The Manufacturer MX Awards 2020. Companies are invited to compete for recognition in the following categories:

Achieving Customer Value International Trade Leadership & Strategy Product Innovation & Design Operational Excellence
Smart Factory Supply Chain Excellence People & Skills Sustainable Manufacturing Young Manufacturer of the Year

“We expect competition to be as fierce as ever,” Nick Peters, editorial director at The Manufacturer said. “This competition is so highly-valued because companies know that winning it is seen as achieving the highest of prizes.

“Entries are judged on site by teams of academics and experts from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, providing independent benchmarking that amounts to a free manufacturing healthcheck. Talking of free: unlike other awards schemes, this one is entirely free to enter. All it demands is sweat and excellence!”

Sam Turner, chair, Manufacturing Division, IMechE said, “The Manufacturer Opus is a celebration of the businesses and people who make UK manufacturing great. These fantastic innovators and leaders are pushing the frontiers of manufacturing performance and set a benchmark for others.”

The Manufacturer MX Awards 2020 ceremony and gala dinner is the finale event of Digital Manufacturing Week 2020 taking place 10 – 13 November in Liverpool. The Manufacturer Opus 2020 was launched as part of the launch of these events at the House of Lords on 24 February.

How to enter The Manufacturer MX Awards 2020?

It could not be more simple. Click here to go to the entry page. 


The deadline for entries is 26 June 26 2020. If selected for the finalists’ shortlist, you will go through to the live judging phase, when a team of expert judges will visit your factory to assess your entry against their own impression of your business. And then it is onto Liverpool in November for the gala awards evening!

And if you want to check out the kind of company you’ll be keeping, check out last year’s winners.