British manufacturing success is ‘rare’, says BBC

RaspberryPi300IN OUR OPINION: Sometimes, Britain’s beloved BBC – a supposed bastion of fairness, accuracy and objectivity – makes itself harder to love than should be the case.

Take Radio 4’s Today programme this morning for instance.

A report by Rory Cellan-Jones about the Raspberry Pi, a ‘computer’ devised to help children understand computing, described how it had once been manufactured in China but had now been successfully ‘on-shored’ to be made at the Sony factory in Wales.

So far, so good?

Certainly. That factory has just been judged as Britain’s best.

All the more unfortunate then that, Cellan-Jones, who was surely briefed that it was one of many competing for the Best Factory Award title and should, in any case, know better, then went on to make the point – more than once – that this was “a rare success story” for British manufacturing.

He should get out more.

Here are just a few more ‘rare’ success stories from those Best Factory Awards run by Cranfield University’s School of Management. They are the tip of the iceberg.

1)Factory of the Year 2013
Winner: Sony UK Technology Centre, Pencoed
2)Best Process Plant
Winner: Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems, Broadstairs
3)Best Engineering Plant
Winner: Bosch Thermotechnology, Worcester
4)Best Electronics & Electrical Plant
Winner: Sony UK Technology Centre, Pencoed
Highly Commended: Eaton Production International, Worksop
Highly Commended: Siemens Industry Motion Control, Congleton
5)Best Household & General Products Plant
Winner: Milliken European Airbag Products, Bury
Highly Commended: DS Smith Packaging, Livingston
Highly Commended: Tata Global Beverages, Eaglescliffe
6)Best SME
Winner: Tharsus Group, Blyth
Highly Commended: EMS Radio Fire & Security Systems, Herne Bay
7)People Management & Skills Development Award
Winner: Siemens Industry Motion Control, Congleton
Highly Commended: Tata Global Beverages, Eaglescliffe
8)Export Award
Winner: Cummins Power Generation, Ramsgate
Highly Commended: Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems, Broadstairs
9)Supply Chain Award
Winner: Milliken European Airbag Products, Bury
Highly Commended: DS Smith Packaging, Livingston
10)Most Improved Plant
Winner: Cummins Power Generation UK
Highly Commended: Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems, Broadstairs
11)Health & Safety Award
Winner: Bosch Thermotechnology, Worcester
Highly Commended: EMS Radio Fire & Security Systems, Herne Bay
12)Innovation Award
Winner: Sony UK Technology Centre, Pencoed
Highly Commended: Bosch Thermotechnology, Worcester
13)Energy & Environment Award
Winner: Eaton Production International, Worksop
Highly Commended: Sony UK Technology Centre, Pencoed
Highly Commended: Bosch Thermotechnology, Worcester
14)Judges’ Special Award
Winner: Tata Global Beverages, Eaglescliffe
Highly Commended: Herman Miller, Chippenham
Highly Commended: Autoglym, Letchworth
Highly Commended: Vi-Spring, Chippenham
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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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