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Thermo Scientific North Carolina Site Wins IndustryWeek’s Best Plant Award

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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Center of Excellence honored for exceptional performance, safety and processes.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has announced that its Asheville, North Carolina plant is a recipient of IndustryWeek Magazine’s 2013 Best Plants award, which recognizes North American facilities for manufacturing excellence.

Thermo Fisher’s Center of Excellence for Laboratory Equipment in Asheville employs about 450 people and manufactures a range of laboratory equipment including cold storage, separations and temperature control products used to prepare and store biological samples as well as other materials used in academic, clinical and life science research labs. Thermo Fisher employs nearly 1,000 employees in the region across two sites.

“We continually focus on improving efficiency and productivity of our global operations through our company-wide Practical Process Improvement (PPI) process and our Asheville site is a great example of these efforts,” said Fred Lowery, president, laboratory products for Thermo Fisher Scientific. “We are honored that IndustryWeek has recognized the outstanding commitment and involvement of the entire Asheville team to set new standards for manufacturing superiority in safety, quality and productivity.”

IndustryWeek will honor the Asheville team during a ceremony in Milwaukee, WI on May 5-7, 2014, and will feature the facility in its January issue. For more information about the winners and award criteria, please visit In 2008, the Thermo Fisher site in Marietta, Ohio, was selected as a winner.

“Thermo Fisher Scientific Asheville demonstrates the qualities IndustryWeek looks for among IW Best Plants winners – leadership, teamwork and operational excellence, as well as a continuous improvement mindset,” said Jill Jusko, senior editor and director of the IW Best Plants awards program.

Every employee in the Asheville plant participates in activities to improve safety, quality and productivity.

• The company’s PPI Business System is based on teams that follow standardized processes to make improvements in their daily work-a system that netted more than 6 percent in savings in labor and overhead costs in 2013 by improving quality, reducing waste, and helping the plant to produce more products with significantly lower labor costs.
• The site also boasts a reported safety incident rate that is less than a quarter of the industry average, a 50 percent reduction in its waste-to-landfill, and a commitment to efforts designed to bring the site to zero waste-to-landfill by December 2015.
• Employees are also actively involved in a program for helping the plant strengthen its community involvement, including local fundraising, Manna Food bank donations and volunteer support, educational programs, and workshops designed to bring the factory’s proven lean manufacturing practices to the nonprofit community.
• The Asheville site also received the 2013 recipient of the North Carolina E3 (Economy, Energy, Environment) award, which recognizes companies in North Carolina that demonstrate data-driven impacts based on improving their triple bottom line.

“On behalf of the 11th Congressional District, I congratulate Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Asheville facility for winning the IndustryWeek Best Plants competition,” said Congressman Mark Meadows. “The equipment manufactured here, including cold storage for biological samples and other lab products, enables research and scientific discovery around the world. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Asheville site and see firsthand their commitment to investing in process innovations, including their progress toward sending no waste to the local landfill by 2015. I am thankful for the employment opportunities Thermo Fisher brings to Western North Carolina and pleased that IndustryWeek - and others worldwide - are recognizing its achievements.”

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