To be awarded the prestigious Shingo Prize at the very first attempt is a fantastic achievement.

Ray Howcroft, Lean Enterprise manager at Ball Beverage Packaging Europe, is still basking in the sheer delight of lifting the most coveted prize in lean – with some help from The Manufacturing Institute.

Ball’s Naro Fominsk site just outside Moscow makes Ends for Beverage Can production and was highly praised for creating an employee culture which should be an “inspiration” to other companies.

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The Manufacturing Institute has signed another 3 year deal with the Shingo Institute to deliver courses across the UK and around the world.

The Manchester-based independent charity was the first European partner for the Shingo Institute in 2008 and has since helped more organisations achieve Shingo recognition than any other Shingo affiliate.
These include the first two sites recognised in Europe; Ultraframe and BAE systems, and the first 3 full Shingo Prize Winners in Europe, Abbott Vascular, Depuy Synthes and Newsprinters Eurocentral.
Described as ‘the Nobel Prize of manufacturing’ the Shingo model is based on a set of guiding principles which start with ‘lead with humility.’

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Many of the companies I have worked with who embrace the Shingo Model have built up years of experience of tools and systems as part of their lean implementations.

They come to the Shingo Model with familiarity of guiding principles behind the Continuous Improvement dimension, and are often able to describe to me what they understand by Focus on Process.

My experience at The Manufacturing Institute is that there is often a gap in the deeper understanding of focus on process, and this gap can lead to non-ideal behaviours at all levels of the business that make it difficult to truly focus on process.

The foundational belief we have defined for focus on process is ‘Great processes set people up to succeed.’

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With a dAlistair-Conn-photoegree and doctorate in Chemistry from Oxford University, Alistair Conn could have found himself working in any part of the world – but he chose Huddersfield for love.

In 1990 he joined ICI in Huddersfield – which later became global agrochemical company Syngenta – and met and married a local girl who made it clear that she never wanted to leave Huddersfield.

“Every time the company suggested an opportunity in another part of the world I said no, I love my wife too much.  They were very good about it,” he said.

“As a result, I suppose you could say that I had an unorthodox career path.  After six months in the lab I got the first opening as Production Manager in a herbicides plant.  I learnt a lot very quickly, mainly from my mistakes, but I knew immediately that I definitely wanted to be on the front line.”

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