Manufacturing Champions Awards 2018

Now into their fifth year, the Manufacturing Champions Awards are the only industry awards that recognise the individuals and teams who make the UK’s factories world-class.

We want to recognise your site’s brightest and best. From the operations director who has transformed performance to the apprentice demonstrating knowledge and skills beyond their expertise – now is the time to get them the national recognition they deserve.

There are nine categories to choose from – ranging from employee innovation to health & safety champion – and all will be judged by an expert panel of your peers from across the manufacturing industry.

Entries are now open, and the winners will be announced at a gala lunch event at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on 6 December.

I look forward to welcoming you there.

Chris Beck
Manufacturing Management Magazine

Why enter the Manufacturing Champions Awards?

Benefits of entering

If you are an employer:

Reward your star performers on the national stage: this is an opportunity to give your high-achievers a public pat on the back and promote your business as the home of world-class talent and dynamic continuous improvement thinking.

Champion manufacturing as a rewarding career choice: help Manufacturing Management showcase the exciting and dynamic achievements of manufacturing employees and set the record straight over the opportunities on offer in UK engineering.

PR and marketing punch: awards success can offer your business a USP as a hub for outstanding achievers and the champion of award-winning standards. Winners and their achievements will be profiled in MM magazine.

If you are an employee:

Personal development: entering the awards scheme offers you the chance to benchmark against your peers. The Manufacturing Champions Awards will offer you the chance to network with like-minded individuals and exchange best-practice ideas.

Reward your team/line reports: putting a colleague forward for a category prize is a great way to recognise the contribution of an unsung hero. Making the shortlist offers a badge of honour, reinforces best practice and inspires others to follow in that individual’s footsteps.

Career development: winning an award marks you out as a unique talent. Awards can enhance your CV and trigger further recognition in the form of career development opportunities from your employer.

Inspire others: we all know manufacturing is fast paced, challenging, varied and ultimately a feel-good place to work. But the message hasn't always reached the wider British public. The Manufacturing Champions Awards will help set the record straight by highlighting the rewarding careers on offer in the sector.

How to enter

Entries must be submitted online

Entries must be submitted online by Friday 28 September 2018. Please check the criteria for the category you are entering carefully before starting your entry by clicking here. When you are familiar with the criteria, please click here to begin the registration process and follow the on-screen instructions.

You can submit your entry online using the online entry system. You will need to register first and then choose the categories you wish to enter. Once you have completed the work on your entries, you can submit them all at once. The system allows you to start an entry, save it, and complete it at a later date.

The main component of your entry is the entry document. All key information listed in the criteria for the category needs to be in the entry document and not in the supporting material.

Supporting material is optional and may be submitted in addition to the entry document. It should be used to illustrate/demonstrate what is in the entry document. Whilst supporting material is important and helpful to the judges, we ask that you keep these documents to a reasonable amount.

  1. The Awards are open to employees at any UK-based manufacturer that has demonstrated outstanding performance, teamwork, innovation and added-value within the stated judging period (1 July 2017- 14 September 2018).
  2. Employees may be nominated in more than one category, but separate submissions must be made as category judging criteria may vary.
  3. Judges reserve the right to change the category of entry if they deem it more relevant to that entry.
  4. Sponsors may not enter the category that they are sponsoring.
  5. All entries must complete the entry template provided.
  6. Any access passwords or details required as part of entry judging must be clearly supplied in time for the close of call for entries.
  7. Supporting material can be provided as part of the entry, though this is not automatically returned.
  8. MA Business holds no responsibility for the loss or damage to any entry or supporting material for that entry.
  9. All entries should include detailed measurements of performance and KPIs where requested. We appreciate that this information can be sensitive and all business-sensitive information will be treated as such under NDA where appropriate.
  10. The judges' decision is FINAL. No discussions on recounts or requests for justification will be entered into.

Top tips on entering:

  • Plan your entry – Nobody ever won anything by doing it all last-minute. If you’re going to enter, commit to it early, get all the supporting material you need (more on that later) and get quotes from the factory floor. You can go in and out of your entry as many times as you like before you hit the ‘submit’ button, so take your time and get it right.
  • Choose wisely – With 9 categories to choose from, it’s important to get your entry into the one that will give you the best chance of success. Also, be aware that certain awards have restrictions on who can enter, so be careful not to scupper your chances at the first hurdle.
  • Believe in yourself – This is your chance to shine, so make your entry as compelling as it can be. Demonstrate, clearly and concisely, exactly what difference the individual or team has made to the site – reduced downtime, increased health and safety, and so on. Back it up with some solid facts and figures to show exactly why they should win.
  • Make the judges take notice – Our judges will be looking through dozens of other entries, all of which will think they are the best. How are you going to make sure yours is the best? Include lots of supplementary extras – graphs and tables, sure, but also little flashes of personality: images of a smiling operator on a team-bonding exercise, for example.
  • Check, check and check again – While you can edit your entry as many times as you like, you can only click ‘submit’ once. Therefore, make sure you have included everything you need (especially that supplementary material!) and weeded out any typos or factual errors that may have slipped through the net.

Follow these steps and you could be joining us in Manchester this December as we celebrate the teams and individuals who make British manufacturing great.

The ceremony

Details about the event

On Thursday 6th December 2018, we will be hosting the Manufacturing Champions Awards at The Midland Hotel, located in the heart of Manchester's city centre. This award winning venue is just across the road from Manchester Central and only 800m away from Manchester Piccadily station.

The impressive building stands proud in the heart of Manchester's city centre, and over the course of its 100 year history, the hotel has played host to kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers and rock stars.

The ticket price includes drinks reception, 3-course lunch and half a bottle of wine per person.

There will be a cash bar in operation throughout the event for additional drinks.

Table of 10 £1,900
Large Table for 12 (very limited) £2,280
Individual seat £290

To book your place at the award lunch, click here!

Prices quoted exclude VAT

Dress code: Business attire

The Midland Hotel
Peter St
M60 2DS
Tel: 0161 236 3333

Time Event
11:30 Drinks reception
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Awards ceremony commences
15:30 Final drinks
16:30 Carriages


The Manufacturing Champions Awards are held in association with the following sponsors:

The Manufacturing Institute - Headline Sponsor

The Manufacturing Institute champions the UK manufacturing industry. We have worked with more than 10,000 organisations since 1994 – and we’ve generated over £2 billion worth of measurable results. Our team have been sharing their knowledge, developing skills and driving progression in manufacturing across the world and our unrivalled passion means we’ll play this strong role for many years to come.


How to sponsor the Awards

The Manufacturing Champions Awards are recognised as the accolade celebrating the teams and individuals that make UK manufacturing world-class.

Now in their 5th year, Champions are brought to you by the publishers of Manufacturing Management, the UK’s leading title for senior manufacturing leaders. The awards ceremony takes place on 6th December at the Midland Hotel, Manchester and will gather together UK manufacturing’s biggest names to honour their peers and celebrate their achievements.

Sponsorship benefits include:

  • Alignment with the Manufacturing Management brand
  • Pre-event print and digital promotion campaign
  • Table of 10 at the gala lunch ceremony
  • Presentation of an award on the day
  • Networking opportunity with 300 manufacturing professionals
  • Post-event marketing campaign

Please get in touch with our sponsorship team to discuss how we can help your organisation maximise its exposure by becoming identified with this prestigious awards programme.

Contact: James Slade on 01322 221144 or james.slade@markallengroup.com


The satisfaction I got from seeing the team win the award was the biggest thing for me.

Chris King, product line manager, Knorr-Bremse, 2016 Manufacturing team of the Year winner

Winning the award validates everything we do, and it’s great to show the rest of the world that we are great at what we do.

Anika Ephraim, managing director, Elfab Ltd – 2017 SME Innovators winner

Entering the Manufacturing Champions awards benefits everyone – the company, the individual and the industry.

John Coughlan, director of operations, TSP Engineering – 2016 Manufacturing Leader winner

The Manufacturing Champions awards are a fantastic way to showcase the amazing work apprentices across the country are doing within manufacturing.

Kodi Gledhill, Rising Star Winner 2017, Engineering apprentice, Coca-Cola European Partners Ltd

Past Winners

Winners Hall of Fame

Click on the images below to access the winner’s brochures from past events


Frequently Asked questions

Do I have to pay to enter?

A: No. Entry is cost free.

Can I enter more than one category?

A: Yes, you can enter yourself or colleagues for as many categories as you feel appropriate.

Can two employees from the same company be entered for the same category?

A: Yes, you can enter multiple employees for each category.

Do I have to keep to the word counts specified in the category entry form?

A: Yes, all categories will give a maximum word count and you should stick to these limits. However, you are encouraged to provide supplementary material as part of your entry. This could include testimonials, project plans, photos of kaizen activity — any information that will help paint a picture of you or your team's efforts to our judging team.

Can I enter myself?

A: Yes, you can enter yourself or nominate a colleague. All entries must be endorsed by the factory manager/ops director or other senior member of the site team.

Need some help?

A: If you are having any problems with your entry or require any further support, please contact:
Chris Beck or Julie Knox at MA Business on 01322 221144

For sponsorship Terms & Conditions – click here.


Jon Evans, head of operations, BAE Systems

Jon’s role at BAE Systems’ Samlesbury site, near Preston, is to ensure the on-time delivery of the aft, vertical and horizontal tails of the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. The site is challenged with producing one aircraft per day in two years’ time – in effect, halving the cost and quadrupling the rate of production.

Emma Harbottle, Operations Director, Analox

Emma has been at Analox since 2006, and is in charge of the management of all operational functions and staff including manufacturing, purchasing, stock and repairs. Under Emma’s tenure, Analox has won Best Factory Awards for operational excellence. Analox specialise in the manufacture of a range of gas detection solutions.

Jeff Hope, Head of Manufacturing, AkzoNobel

Jeff is local to Ashington and currently lives just a few miles north of Ashington, next to Druridge Bay.

Jeff joined AkzoNobel in January 2013 and was appointed as Head of Manufacturing for the Ashington site, taking the opportunity to build a brand new site from bottom up; new technology, new processes, new people and the opportunity to be part of building a unique, inspiring and colourful community. In parallel to this, he was also the Site Manager for the Hammerite site in Prudhoe until early 2014.

Before joining AkzoNobel, Jeff was a Plant Manager for Rio Tinto Alcan at the Aluminium Smelter in Lynemouth, Northumberland where he worked for twelve years. Prior to that, Jeff was a Navigator on marine exploration vessels for six years.

Chris King, Operations Manager, Praxair

Chris King is an Operations Manager at Praxair Surface Technologies Ltd. Chris began working in the manufacturing sector in 2006 as an apprentice, undertaking an advanced apprenticeship in Mechanical Manufacture Engineering, Chris then progressed down the leadership route gaining his BA Hons in Business Management and Communications at Oxford Brookes University. Chris has a strong knowledge of lean manufacturing and has enjoyed success on numerous projects notably winning the Manufacturing Champions Team Award with Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) in 2016, through his career so far Chris has developed a strong track record of delivering performance and enhancing employee engagement through the strategic development of processes and people. His passion for lean manufacturing and the principles within the Toyota Production System, along with his drive to create a continuous improvement culture within the business has helped improve efficiencies, aid employee development and ultimately increase business growth.

Dr David Baglee, AMAP, Sunderland University

Dr David Baglee is a Reader in Advanced Maintenance at the University of Sunderland. David is a Visiting Professor of Operations and Maintenance at the University of Lulea, Sweden and a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Maryland USA. David’s research interests include advanced maintenance management strategies, condition-monitoring technologies and advanced manufacturing techniques and technologies to support maintenance strategy development; this includes Big Data systems, Industry 4 and the use of Virtual Reality to design new manufacturing systems. David has over 110 conference and international journal publications, 15 invited and keynote presentations and 4 book chapters. David has worked on a number of local, national and international projects.

Matt Ellison, site director, Systagenix

Matt is the Site Director for the Systagenix AWT Manufacturing facility, has P&L responsibility and accountability for flawless delivery of the build plan. Matt has over 20 years of experience in the Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical industries across R&D, Validation, Quality Management and Manufacturing Operations. His responsibility currently spans in-house Manufacturing and Sterilisation, Maintenance, Health, Safety and the Environment, Occupational Health and Contract Manufacturing (CMO). Matt has also led a cultural programme to drive organisational agility and responsiveness. Prior to the integration into Acelity and his current role in 2014, Matt's previous industrial experience includes Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson Wound Management and GlaxoSmithKline. Matt has a BSc honours degree in Chemistry from the University of Central Lancashire and an MBA from Hull University, U.K. and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Greenbelt.

Charles Garfit, Membership Engagement Director, EEF

Charles is responsible for the engagement, development and growth of EEF’s membership base.

He leads EEF’s membership team across our regional network delivering a wide range of expertise from policy and representation to business support, helping manufacturers to compete, innovate and grow.

Charles joined EEF from Santander where as head of Manufacturing, he played a key part in formulating Santander’s Manufacturing sector strategy substantially growing Santander’s exposure and profile.

Prior to this he ran a pan-European SME business. He has also held a successful career in asset consultancy where he advised manufacturers and financial institutions across Europe and the Nordics on asset value, management and sales.

Rob Love, site manager, City Technology

Rob manages the award-winning Portsmouth site of City Technology, which was crowned BFA Factory of the Year in 2014. He joined City Technology in 1993 and has held numerous roles since. He started his career with Portsmouth Aviation as an apprentice in the 1980s.

Russell Trotter, Business Development and Innovations Director, Elfab Limite

Russell has over thirty years of management and executive experience. He specialises in identifying, defining and analysing business needs as the basis for developing disruptive technology solutions.

In his current role at Elfab, Newcastle upon Tyne, he is responsible for developing assets for a wide range of applications and industries, including chemical and pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and original equipment manufacturers (OEM). In addition, his role involves identifying customer needs, technological advancements and upcoming legislation to introduce new products and services that successfully anticipate market needs.

Under Russell’s direction, Elfab has won numerous manufacturing awards, including the prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2015. Russell has an MBA from Durham Business School.

Paul Bell, managing director, Manufacturing Excellence

Paul has a tremendous track record in transforming the performance of a wide variety of organisations both as a consultant and director. He started Manufacturing Excellence in 2000 which combines training and consultancy to help organisations drive and embed a culture of continuous improvement. Manufacturing Excellence has been phenomenally successful having saved their clients hundreds of millions of pounds with four also going on to win the UK Best Factory Award.

Chris Beck, Editor, Manufacturing Management

As part of the team that has introduced the new-look Manufacturing Management, Chris is keen to position the magazine as a leading voice for UK manufacturing, championing the best industry has to offer. He brings several years of experience in a number of sectors, including manufacturing, security and housing.

Adam Offord, Deputy Editor, Plant Engineer

Adam has shown an affinity with all things industry, having worked on the editorial teams of Manufacturing Management and Machinery magazines, and more recently Plant Engineer magazine. He’s a major supporter of schemes that look to encourage young people into industry, and has led school visits to factory sites in an attempt to inspire the next generation. He is also a keen supporter of the environment and likes to champion those doing their bit to save energy and protect the planet.


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Chris Beck

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