Best of British manufacturing: The Manufacturer MX Awards 2022 winners announced

Posted on 17 Nov 2022 by The Manufacturer

The winners of The Manufacturer MX (TMMX) 2022 Awards have just been announced at a black tie ceremony and gala dinner in Liverpool, the culminating event of this year's Digital Manufacturing Week.

Organised by The Manufacturer in partnership with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), The Manufacturer MX Awards are widely considered the gold standard in industry awards and are the only peer-reviewed and judged programme of their kind for UK manufacturing.

TMMX Awards exist to encourage, benchmark and celebrate manufacturing excellence, with every stage of the programme providing value for participants, whatever their excellence maturity.

With categories ranging from recognition in innovation and sustainability, through to apprenticeships, leadership and staff engagement, there are plenty of opportunities for UK businesses of all sizes and sectors to be recognised.

The Manufacturer is proud to support and champion the UK manufacturing sector and over the past two years the incredible agility, adaptability and resilience has shown there is no shortage of manufacturing excellence. Your achievements, and those of your team, should be acknowledged.

Now, for this year’s TMMX Awards winners…

Manufacturer of the Year 2022 – Gripple Ltd

Sheffield’s Gripple Ltd is a market-leading manufacturer of wire joiners and tensioners for agriculture, and suspension solutions for construction.

Among the judges’ comments, Gripple was described as a “growing, innovative, people led company” and a “very customer aware and focused business.”

Award presented by:

Manufacturer of the Year 2022

Runner up Manufacturer of the Year 2022 – Druck Ltd, a Baker Hughes business

Druck, a Baker Hughes business based in Leicester, UK is a global technology company that designs, develops and manufactures the highest quality, most accurate and reliable customised pressure sensing devices and instruments, software and services.

The judging panel was impressed with Druck’s effort, energy and investment, as well as the way the business actively involves its staff, sharing data widely and in real time across the organisation.

The judges particularly commented on Druck’s commitment to R&D, highlighted by the fact the firm reinvests 9-10% of revenue back into this area. One of the judges commented that Druck is “a business with a deep technical understanding of its innovative sector and customer requirements.”

Award presented by:




Young Manufacturer of the Year 2022 – Natasha Lyth, Gripple Ltd

Natasha Lyth is Sustainability Manager at Gripple Ltd. She joined Gripple in 2018 and now spearheads the company’s Net Zero strategy.

Speaking about Natasha, one of the the judging panel said she is “fully committed to manufacturing and evidenced by her development plan, see’s her future in the sector.” Another judge praised Natasha for the “continuous improvements she implements at Gripple.”

Award sponsored by:

Young Manufacturer of the Year 2022

International Trade – Gripple Ltd

Gripple’s second award this year, for International Trade, recognised the company’s commitment to expanding its international business.

One of the judges said Gripple’s entry was “great and conveyed a sense of strategy illustrating innovation and strong market adaptation.”

Award sponsored by:



People & Skills – Lisi Aerospace (BAIUK Ltd)

Lisi Aerospace is a worldwide manufacturing specialist for assembly solutions as well as engine and structural components used for aircrafts.

Present in the aerospace industry since 1977, Lisi impressed the judges with its “comprehensive range of communication channels which cover a range of content.” The way Lisi champions health and wellbeing as a key value and its breadth and depth of support also resonated with the judges.

Mark Capell, General Manager at Lisi Aerospace said: “No matter what industry you come from, I believe there is a common theme that your people are your most valuable asset. In these times of digital transformation, this has never been more prevalent, and this is why the people and skills category was so important to me and my team. I am delighted that the passion and devotion the team has shown to the development and wellbeing of the incredible people who work with us has been recognised through this prestigious award. As we face the exciting challenges of our smart factory project and continue to upskill our workforce, winning this award fills me with a renewed focus and vigour for the future.”

Award sponsored by:



Supply Chain Excellence – Ricardo

Ricardo emerged victorious in the Supply Chain Excellence category, which looked for evidence of a integrated supply chain strategy which embraces the whole business process, from raw materials or component procurement to customer delivery.

The judges commented on Ricardo’s “agile approach to layout customisation, waste reduction initiatives and its good range of IT solutions.”

Martin Starkey, Managing Director of Ricardo’s Performance Products division said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Supply Chain Excellence Award at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2022 which are the gold standard in industry awards. This award is a wonderful testament to the excellence and resilience of our supply chain team here at Ricardo.

“As a global business, supporting very demanding industry sectors, we are required to work to the highest possible standards of supply chain management. The team has excelled in succeeding despite the complex challenges that everyone involved in supply chain operations has faced over the last few years. We continue to innovate, collaborate, and go the extra mile to support our customers, suppliers and focus on how we can create more sustainable supply chain solutions for the future.”

Award sponsored by:



Sustainable Manufacturing – Encirc

Encirc boasts a unique solution in that it is the only company to offer a full 360 approach to the beverage supply chain, creating flexibility, support and minimising carbon impact.

The judges praised Encirc for its clear established strategy, great sustainable integration and clear plan for scope one, two and three emissions.

Adrian Curry, Managing Director of Encirc, said: “Sustainability is at the very core of Encirc as a business, and over the last 15 years it’s been fantastic to see the positive impact we’ve had on the environment, on our sector and with our local communities.

“This has been achieved through pushing the boundaries of manufacturing processes and pioneering new initiatives, working with local authorities, like-minded businesses, and partners. We’ve innovated unique offerings like our 360 service, which uses bulk shipping and streamlined supply chains to reduce carbon emissions, as well as exploring opportunities with biofuels and hydrogen to further amplify glass’ sustainability credentials.

“Having those efforts recognised and being crowned winners for the Sustainable Manufacturing category at The Manufacturer MX awards 2022 is a great honour and one we are all really proud of.”

Award sponsored by:




Smart Factory – Reckitt

Slough-headquartered British multinational consumer goods company Reckitt is this year’s winner of the Smart Factory category.

One of the judges commented about the “fascinating journey Reckitt is on” and the “huge strides the company has made in the last 12-24 months.”

Ben Ellins, IT & Digital Director – Factory Operations at Reckitt said: “Everyone in Reckitt was delighted that our Nottingham plant was selected for the Smart Factory award at TMMX22. There has been a huge outpouring of support and recognition for how Jamie Morley and his team continue to be digital trailblazers within our group and an inspiration to our next generation of leaders. Indeed, it was a clear demonstration of this inspiration that the factory representative on stage to collect the award was Jamie Barnes, our Reliability Manager who worked hard on Factory of the Future, instead of senior leadership. In attendance at TMMX22, we also had Barney Carter who himself only narrowly lost out on Young Manufacturer of the Year, and who was instrumental in the Factory of the Future programme.

“We hope that this success continues to resonate with our colleagues in factories across the UK and the rest of the world, and that we can showcase even more of our amazing young (and some not so young!) talent in future forums and awards ceremonies. At Reckitt we fight to promote a cleaner, healthier world and this is one of the many ways we’re succeeding in that mission.”

Award sponsored by:




Leadership & Strategy SME – Foam Engineers Ltd

High Wycombe-based Foam Engineers is the UK’s leading technical foam fabricator specialising in providing technical solutions for our global customer base.

Foam Engineers impressed the judges with its customer-focused approach and its continuous improvement efforts. One judge said Foam Engineers is “a business clearly engaged in understanding its customer needs and developing the capability of their processes and people.”

“It was amazing to actually win the award and be recognised for the way we look after customers, innovate our processes and the journey we have been on since probably as far back as 2010 during the Banking Crisis when James Wiles the business owner worked with a number of specialists to make the business more secure. This evolved to creating a strong Management Team working with everyone in the business to create many pockets of excellence, a feature that really attracted me to join in 2020. Together we have continued strengthening the business, creating a strategy to grow by empowering individuals to make decisions, creating a blameless culture of trust, enhancing talent and also investing in new technologies, products and ideas.” said Steve MacWhirter, Managing Director at Foam Engineers.

Award sponsored by:




Leadership & Strategy Gripple Ltd / Produmax

Gripple and Produmax emerged victorious in the Leadership & Strategy category this year, highlighting both companies’ great breadth and depth of leadership and management skills, as well as a clear, well communicated business strategy.

“We are delighted to win this prestigious award on behalf of the whole Produmax family! In a changing world leadership and strategy have never been more important and this award recognises the commitment to the vision from everyone at Produmax.” said Paul Birtles, Operations Director at Produmax.

Award sponsored by:





Manufacturing in Action – Leonardo

The Manufacturing in Action award recognises an efficient, modern, profitable business, which can demonstrate examples of product excellence, innovation, customer satisfaction, investment in people, training, effective management and efforts to become more sustainable.

Leonardo impressed the judges and is this year’s Manufacturing in Action winner.

Jon Sackett, Head Of Business Intelligence CS&T UK at Leonardo said: “Leonardo was pleased to be recognised with the ‘Manufacturing in Action’ award at The Manufacturer MX Awards up against other world-class manufacturers. This prestigious accolade enables Leonardo in Yeovil, the UK’s only onshore helicopter facility, to highlight its unique end-to-end helicopter capability, and celebrate our people and engineering with the manufacturing sector.”

Award sponsored by:





Achieving Customer Value – Connexion Technologies

Andover’s Connexion Technologies is this year’s Achieving Customer Value winner.

Connexion Technologies, which provides world-leading mechanical and electronic manufacturing services to industry, has some of the most advanced manufacturing facilities anywhere in the UK.

One judge praised Connexion Technologies for how it “uses its customer focus to develop and expand its business in partnership with its customers, understanding their value, and delivering new products and services to meet customer needs.”

Award sponsored by:

Operational Excellence – Gripple Ltd

Gripple’s third award this year, the Operational Excellence category recognises a company that demonstrates the use of effective lean methodologies and techniques to drive improvements across a number of areas.

Gripple was praised by the judges for its “Toyota-style thinking”, testimony to how the company is actively achieving operational excellence through adopting a lean approach to manufacturing.

Highly Commended – Operational Excellence – The Park

The judges highly commended Avonmouth’s The Park, saying its entry was “very strong with a broad range of value adding activities to support Operational Excellence.”

Sponsored by:

Product Innovation & Design – Philadelphia Scientific

Bolton-based Philadelphia Scientific is the world’s leading lead-acid battery room data, battery management and battery maintenance experts.

Winners of this year’s Product Innovation & Design category, Philadelphia Scientific impressed the judges with its significant growth, commercial performance, market share and operational effectiveness.

Andy Napoleon Hill, Sales & Marketing Manager, Philadelphia Scientific said: “To make it through as a finalist in one of the most prestigious awards in our industry in a huge achievement in itself, so I’d like to say a huge congratulations to each and every company who’s name appeared on the big screen at the awards night.

“For us, winning is a huge honour and serves as a testament to how hard we work together as a team. Product Design & Innovation is at our core and it’s fantastic to achieve recognition of that ethos from our peers and the industry as whole.”

Award sponsored by:



The Manufacturer and IMechE would like to thank our sponsors, judging panel and volunteers that helped make the TMMX Awards programme possible. The Manufacturer will catch up in due course with each of the winners to get their reaction and find out what’s next at their firm.

Do you have what it takes to win at the TMMX Awards 2023?

The TMMX Awards are open to manufacturing businesses, and individuals that work directly in a manufacturing business, of all sectors and sizes. As long as you are a manufacturer with a production facility based in the UK, you can enter!

We will publish more information about next year’s TMMX Awards as soon as it’s available.