IMechE reveals finalists for Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2012

Posted on 18 Nov 2011

The finalists for The Institution of Mechanical Engineers Manufacturing Excellence (MX) Awards have been announced.

The final shortlist of the IMechE’s MX Awards reveal some familiar manufacturing high achievers, as well as some new entries to the awards programme.

Entries from across the spectrum of manufacturing sectors, and from firms of a range of sizes, indicate that high performing companies are keen to advertise their efforts even in a difficult economy.

Two-time previous winner of the top award, Leyland Trucks, is shortlisted in three categories including Business Development and Change Management, the award where it has excelled in the last two competitions.

Office equipment manufacturer Brother Industries, optics specialists Carl Zeiss NTS and makers of industrial seals AESSEAL are back in the race for the fourth year in succession. They are joined by other previous entrants Draeger Safety UK, tyre manufacturer Michelin Ballymena, Pipex px and Lostock-based missile makers MBDA.

New names to appear in the 2011 competition include Bombardier Transportation, Flybrid Systems, pallet system manufacturer Loadhog, Texecom, Trend Control Systems and air and sea safety equipment manufacturer Survitec Group.

Howden Compressors of Glasgow is also a finalist in the PwC award for most improved company. The advanced precision engineering firm that makes twin rotary screw compressors, sold around the world, were runners-up in The Manufacturer of the Year Awards 2010 in the Manufacturing in Action category.

Chief executive of the IMechE Stephen Tetlow said: “This list showing the quality, variety and ingenuity of UK manufacturing. Manufacturing is at the heart of the UK economic recovery, and Manufacturing Excellence is a proven way to help improve the way businesses work and showcase their achievements.”


The 2011 finalists are:

 Customer Focus award – AESSEAL,  Draeger Safety UK, Leyland Trucks, Pipex px, Texecom, Trend Control Systems

PwC Award for Most Improved Company – Draeger Safety, Flybrid, Howden Compressors, Palintest, RFD Beaufort (Survitec) and Texecom

Autodesk Award for Innovation in Products and Processes – Carl Zeiss, Draeger Safety, Loadhog and Texecom

WMG Award for Logistics & Operational Efficiency – AESSEAL, Draeger safety, Loadhog and Texecom

Power Panel Award for People Effectiveness – AESSEAL, Bombardier Transportation, Carl Zeiss, Draeger Safety and Texecom

Lombard Award for Business Development & Change Management – AESSEAL, Leyland Trucks, Pipex and Trend Control Systems

Barclays Award for Financial Management – AESSEAL, Loadhog and Pipex

Arup Award for Sustainable Manufacturing – AESSEAL, Agfa, Brother Industries, Loadhog, Pipex and ScotAsh

ERA Foundation Award for Partnership with Education – AESSEAL, Leyland Trucks, MBDA and Michelin Tyre


More information on the finalists is given below.


The Manufacturing Excellence Awards will be held at The Dorchester Hotel, London, on Wednesday 23 November.



AESSEAL is a global business which strategically aims to challenge convention and surpass customers’ expectations at every interface. Headquartered in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, AESSEAL designs, manufactures and supplies mechanical seals, engineered sealing systems and other environmental and reliability-focused products. The leading product family, mechanical seals, are used in rotating equipment such as pumps, to prevent liquids and gases from escaping into the environment. The market is extremely diverse, international, intensely competitive, and at the higher-technology end, extremely conservative.

Agfa Graphics

Agfa Grahpics site electrochemically processes coils of aluminium to produce aluminium ‘substrate’ as the first stage in the production of lithographic printing plates for ultimate sale as a consumable to the printing industry.

Bombardier plane
Bombardier Learject XR

Bombardier Transportation

A world leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier is a global corporation headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Their 65,400 employees design, manufacture, sell and support the widest range of world-class products in the transportation sector.

Brother Industries (UK)  

Brother Industries (UK), or BIUK, has just celebrated 25 years of business in Wrexham. Part of the global Brother Group with a workforce of 220 employees, BIUK is a manufacturing plant for the production of typewriters, new and recycled toner cartridges, remanufacturing of faxes & printers as well as the maintenance for franking machines for Pitney Bowes.

Staff at Carl Zeiss
Staff at Carl Zeiss

Carl Zeiss NTS  

Carl Zeiss NTS is a manufacturer of Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs) and provide turn key electron optics solutions for their customers. They have a long history of manufacture in Cambridge where the company was started by the nephew of Charles Darwin 1881 and claims to be the first spin out company from Cambridge University. The first commercial SEM was launched in 1985 by the company. Today it is part of Carl Zeiss, the world leading German Global Optical Company, with an even longer company history.

Draeger Safety UK

Draeger is an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology. Founded in Lübeck in 1889, Draeger has grown into a worldwide, DAX-listed enterprise in its fifth generation as a family-run business. Their long-term success is predicated on a value-oriented corporate culture with four central strengths: close collaboration with their customers, the expertise of their employees, continuous innovation and outstanding quality.

Flybrid Systems

Flybrid Systems is a privately owned engineering company at the forefront of developments in hybrid vehicle technology. In 2007 the company developed an entirely mechanical high-speed flywheel based energy storage and recovery system to meet the 2009 Formula One regulations. This Flybrid® technology is now being applied to a range of applications outside motorsport and is well suited to use in road, rail and off highway vehicles.

Howden Compressors 

Howden Compressors   (HCL) is a highly sophisticated manufacturer of screw compressors.  HCL has one of the broadest ranges of screw compressors including oil free and oil injected.

An operator at the Leyland Trucks Preston Facility
An operator at the Leyland Trucks Preston Facility

Leyland Trucks

Leyland Trucks, one of Britain’s leading manufacturing companies, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PACCAR Inc.  PACCAR is a global technology leader in design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light, medium and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. Since Leyland Trucks was acquired by PACCAR in 1998, it has become the group’s established centre for Light and Medium truck design, development and manufacture. Recently it has also been acknowledged as the Group centre for box body and curtain design, development and manufacture.


Loadhog is recognised as the worldwide innovator in the manufacture and distribution of supply chain products for retail, mail and manufacturing markets. They identify supply chain problems and solve them with innovative, patented and sustainable products.


MBDA, a world leader in missiles and missile systems, is a multi-national group with over 10,000 employees in France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. MBDA is the only Group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems to meet the whole range of current and future operational requirements for the three armed forces (army, navy, air force). Overall, the Group offers a range of 45 products in service and have another 15 in development.

Michelin Ballymena bus and truck tyres
Michelin Ballymena bus and truck tyres

Michelin Ballymena

Michelin’s mission is to contribute, in a sustainable way, to progress in the mobility of people and goods by constantly making travel safer, easier, more enjoyable, more economical and more respectful of people and the environment.  Michelin operates in tyres, mobility assistance systems and travel services, such as road maps and travel guides. Tyres, however, remain the core business.  Ballymena produces a range of bus and truck tyres, which are exported globally. Ballymena also produces rubber compound, one of the ingredients required for tyre production, not only for its own use, but also for use in Michelin plants in Great Britain and, occasionally, in Europe.


Palintest design and manufacture chemical reagents and electronic testing equipment for the analysis of water. The product range consists of chemical reagents (both tablet and liquid), electronic photometers, test strips, sensor based chlorine testing and visual comparators, as well as other laboratory equipment. These products are sold into drinking water applications, wastewater, swimming pool and spa, industrial process water and soil testing. Over 400 test parameters have been developed, each having a unique tablet reagent and photometer calibration. We also supply the major NGOs and charities with portable testing equipment for the developing world under the Wagtech brand.

Pipex px ®

Pipex   was established in 1975 by their current Chairman Alan Smith and is a privately owned, family run, UK manufacturing business. In addition to the manufacture of our construction products and systems they offer innovative design, project management, installation and engineering support services.


ScotAsh is the UK market leader in quality controlled, sustainable construction products, manufactured from pulverised fuel ash (PFA). The company is a joint venture between ScottishPower, one of the UK’s leading energy utilities and Lafarge Cement, the UK’s biggest cement manufacturer. Their products, manufactured from power station ash, provide a high quality, sustainable alternative to conventional cement and grouts.

Survitec Group – RFD Beaufort  

The company is a provider of commercial life saving equipment to the highly regulated marine aviation and defence sectors. RFD Beaufort is one company in a group of related companies servicing global markets in lifesaving equipment and services. The products it sells and installs are primarily life rafts, marine evacuation systems and lifejackets. They also have an extensive network (400+ globally) of owned and approved independent service stations that service and sell spares throughout the life cycle of the product. To maintain the quality standards and meet the regulatory requirements they provide training services to service station personnel who are certified to maintain their products.


Founded in 1986 Texecom has grown to become a major force in the design and manufacture of Intruder Alarm Systems and Warning Signalling Solutions, from its headquarters on the outskirts of Manchester UK Texecom supply products world wide and currently report 15% of the UK market and around 2% of the world market. Texecom is an award-winning manufacturer of intruder alarm systems & signalling

Trend Control Systems  

Trend develops, manufactures, markets and distributes Building Energy Management Systems. Their products cover the full range of building energy management hardware, including controllers, supervisor software, valves and actuators, sensors and motor controllers. These products are installed via a network of accredited system integrators in a variety of non-residential buildings.