Sandvik Coromant, has earned the 2022 IndustryWeek Best Plants Award for its Westminster, South Carolina, production site. The award is given to North American manufacturing plants that lead their industries in outstanding operational excellence, customer service and employee engagement.
Each year, IndustryWeek (IW) invites companies to apply for the prestigious award. The months-long evaluation and selection process includes an in-depth questionnaire and supporting statement that details candidate achievements. Selected by a panel of IW editors and outside experts, participants are judged on practice and performance factors such as:
• Performance measurement
• Management practices
• Employee empowerment
• Customer focus
• Manufacturing operations and flexibility
• Environment and safety programs
For more than 20 years, Sandvik Coromant has continuously improved its state-of-the-art Westminster facility and empowered its people. The company has invested over $200 million in the production center, which has positioned Sandvik Coromant to acutely understand its customers’ metalworking and machining application needs and to provide swift, comprehensive customer support when needed. Serving such technically demanding industries as automotive and aerospace, the 328,000-square-foot production unit reconditions solid round cutting tools and manufactures more than 2,300 standard article and customized cemented carbide inserts, as well as more than 50 grades of ready-to-press powder and press tools.
The factory’s high automation and advanced technology not only drives production, but it also serves Sandvik Coromant’s commitment to sustainability and the environment. As part of its Green Factory initiatives, the facility and its production equipment have undergone digital transformation to better meet its 2030 energy reduction goals. Its building management system analyzes and controls key utility and production parameters, resulting in greater energy efficiency and overall equipment effectiveness. Renewable energy credits will power its total electricity consumption through 2024, supporting its goal to halve its carbon emissions, while efforts such as ethanol recycling contribute to its goal of greater than 90 percent waste circularity. The company has also recycled 245 tons in 2019 and 219 tons in 2020.
In addition to its responsibility to the planet, Sandvik Coromant has a profound responsibility to its people. With a reputation in the local community as an employer of choice, the Westminster site invests in the continuous improvement of its people. All employees have a learning and development plan, and the company offers ongoing learning opportunities. A mature safety program ensures employees know how to work as safely as possible, and personnel are encouraged to report unsafe conditions into a global database so the conditions may be corrected and preventive actions implemented. The strong safety culture has industry-leading results in regard to OSHA recordables and lost-time injuries.
The company understands that the continuous improvement of its people is closely tied to its own success. A special program provides space for employees to contribute and implement ideas to improve various aspects of the business, including process, quality and cost. As a result of employee suggestions, the facility saved $222,200 in the last year alone.
“We are incredibly proud of our Westminster facility and honored to receive the IndustryWeek Best Plants Award,” said Arun Pattanaik, production unit director at Sandvik Coromant. “Through the participation and engagement of our people, we’ve continuously improved our production unit and have achieved fantastic results. This award is proof of that accomplishment.”