A.T. Kearney has commissioned locally-designed and 3D-printed trophies for its inaugural Factory of the Year (FotY) award in South Africa.
According to Igor Hulak, Partner at A.T. Kearney, embracing technology is central to the philosophy underpinning the awards. “3D printing is one of the key technologies that is already fundamentally changing the manufacturing sector and we felt it fitting to tangibly demonstrate this impact by designing our own African-inspired trophy using new technology.”
“Our brief for the trophy design was to inspire the rejuvenation and growth of South Africa’s manufacturing sector so that this market can reach its potential of becoming a true global competitor. It should excite participation in the Factory of the Year competition by giving recognition to South Africa’s leading manufacturing firms. Furthermore, with rapidly changing developments in manufacturing through advanced technologies, an emphasis should also be placed on the role of innovation and technology,” he says.
Hulak explains that in previous years in other countries, the trophy depicted a symbiosis of human being and machine. However, A.T. Kearney wanted the trophy to be created in a South African context including elements which reference the manufacturing industry, such as manufacturing materials, machinery, equipment, innovation and IT.
Of the seven trophy designs received from various designers, Pixal 8 Media’s design was selected as the winning option. It was designed to represent Africa being at the centre of growth and innovation with advanced digital technology lighting the continent. The gears at the bottom highlights how Africa’s manufacturing sector is currently built on mechanical methods and envisions that Africa’s manufacturing sector will grow through digitalisation and advanced manufacturing
All FotY trophies were 3D-printed in association with the CSIR, one of the official partners of the South African FotY, and the Central Technology University (CUT). Trophies were printed from a nylon polymer and surface finished by graphite blasting.
The overall FotY winner who receives the highest score on all dimensions of the FotY competition will receive a 3D printed 44cm trophy at the gala awards dinner on 26 June. In addition, four manufacturing excellence awards will be handed to participants which performed exceptionally well in a specific dimension of the FotY competition – Excellence in Large-Scale Production, Excellence in Small-Scale Production, Excellence in Digitisation and Excellence in Resource Efficiency – and each will receive a 15cm high trophy.
Factory of the Year is a global benchmarking competition run by A.T. Kearney. Since its inception in Germany in 1992, it has become the leading global benchmarking competition for manufacturing firms. It is recognised as the toughest benchmarking test for companies based on standards and best practices from over 2,000 factories across all industries and over 30 countries. For the first time, the competition, was launched in South Africa in June last year in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Manufacturing Circle, Manufacturing Indaba and Engineering News.