The Manufacturer Top 100 2018: Cream of the crop

The Manufacturer Top 100 is one of the most joyous projects in The Manufacturer’s calendar, celebrating the most inspiring individuals in UK manufacturing.

A very large proportion of honourees turned up to receive their 2018 awards and books at a ceremony held in Liverpool. Among The Manufacturer Top 100 are 20 Exemplars, reckoned by the judges to have made a particularly exceptional contribution to the sector.

In 2018, we also celebrated the fifth cohort to be inducted into what is becoming a powerful group of alumni – The Manufacturer Top 500 – many of whom also showed up to support this year’s honourees and to enjoy some relaxed networking.

CROP - The Manufacturer Top 100 2018 officially revealed

This year, we at The Manufacturer are delighted to welcome a new partner to this much-loved project, Cranfield University, which offers members of The Manufacturer Top 100 the opportunity to apply for scholarships to their Manufacturing Directors’ Programme, which helps manufacturers sharpen their executive skills, together with access to a ‘Productivity Boot Camp’ and ‘Services 4.0’ executive programme.

According to The Manufacturer’s Editorial Director Nick Peters, “What binds all of these great people together is a love of making things, and a passion for passing what they know to a new generation.

“In truth, it is on behalf of that new generation that we do this. We want to break down the decades-old prejudice against manufacturing. We want parents to get excited about recommending a career in manufacturing to their offspring, not see it – so erroneously – as an occupation of last resort. We must not let the prejudices of yesterday poison the opportunities of tomorrow.”

We decided to celebrate the fifth year of The Manufacturer Top 100 by creating the Top 500 Hall of Fame, to run alongside our Top 100 celebrations in Liverpool.

We were then struck by what should have been an obvious thought, that every year we are growing a grouping of alumni who constitute, by definition, some of the best UK manufacturing has to offer.

We believe a group like that can have an increasingly powerful voice in UK manufacturing, and it was encouraging to hear so many of them agree that something very special is coming together for the good of manufacturing.

We are now developing ways to make that voice heard.

Download your copy of The Manufacturer Top 100 2018 report by clicking here.

The Manufacturer Top 500

Alumni from the past five years of The Manufacturer Top 100 were invited to comment on what the recognition means to them and to our sector. Their contributions were then placed on posters and easels, and displayed at this year’s event.

CROP - The Manufacturer Top 500 Hall of Fame - image courtesy of The Manufacturer.

Here is a taste of what they had to say:

“(The Top 100) has a profound impact on UK Manufacturing as it helps put our industry firmly on the map. To showcase the best innovative leaders helps drive everyone forward and pushes standards in the sector even higher as we can all learn from those individuals and take their approaches and best practice back into our own companies. In a sector that sometimes suffers from a poor image as a future career, I can’t stress how important it is for us all to have role models within the sector that can help inspire the current and next generations in UK Manufacturing,”

Alan Lusty, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, adi Group (Alumnus 2016)


“The Manufacturer Top 100 is creating pride in our heritage and in our future as a manufacturing nation. The awards not only highlight the achievements of individuals, but also demonstrate what those individuals achieve through teams and as part of a wider community. The Manufacturer is inspiring the next generation to rise to the significant challenges that lie ahead. We need to drive forward using collaboration and a support network to be unrelenting in our efforts to deliver change,”

Tom Egan, Business & Capability Development Manager, Leonardo Helicopter Division (Alumnus 2016)


“The sector is often poorly understood by the general population. Even when celebrated for the cutting-edge products or technology used or created by the sector, the real story – the people that make it happen – aren’t talked about. This is a super vehicle to communicate the diversity of skills and talent in the sector, and the opportunity is there to achieve more. Through collaboration and relationships, we can make more progress technologically and commercially,”

Gil Woodward, Operations Director, Advance Tapes (Alumnus 2016)