Press Release

Tuesday, October 28

AWB Honors Top Washington Manufacturers

Manufacturing Excellence Awards recognize innovation, operational excellence

KENT — The Association of Washington Business has named Cadet Manufacturing of Vancouver its 2014 Manufacturer of the Year.

Cadet, the family-owned maker of high-efficiency heaters, received the award Tuesday during AWB’s annual Manufacturing Summit, held this year at the ShoWare Center in Kent. Four other companies also received top manufacturing awards.

Ozone International of Bainbridge Island, which makes ozone generation systems for the food and beverage industry, received the Operational Excellence Award. TigerStop, a Vancouver manufacturer of systems that automate and increase productivity of industrial cutting processes, received the Innovation Award. The Green Manufacturing Award went to Emerald Services of Tacoma, which captures and recycles industrial fluids, and Manhasset Specialty Company, a Yakima-based music stand maker.

The 2014 Manufacturing Excellence Awards are sponsored by UPS and the AWB Institute, AWB’s nonprofit arm dedicated to manufacturing and workforce development.

“A strong manufacturing sector is the foundation of a strong economy,” said Kris Johnson, AWB president. “These employers are doing their part to innovate, to make sustainability a priority and to find better ways to do business.

“We are pleased to honor them as examples of what Washington state’s manufacturers can accomplish,” Johnson said. “Their hard work and creative thinking is helping make Washington a better place for all of us.”

More about these five innovative Washington manufacturers and their 2014 AWB awards:

2014 Manufacturer of the Year
Cadet Manufacturing, Vancouver, @CadetHeat

Cadet Manufacturing has been creating high-efficiency wall, baseboard and garage heaters and thermostats in Vancouver since 1957. The company is a leader in generating jobs, streamlining operational practices, maximizing energy efficiency and reducing waste. This family-owned company takes care of its 105 employees with flex time, a vacation gifting program, an employee garden on site and profit sharing. They help their community with a volunteer program that includes earning company pay while working on charity projects. Through sustainability and continuous improvement programs, Cadet has reduced its waste by 75 percent since 2007 and implemented 65 lean improvements involving 1,538 separate actions. And through extensive wellness programs, employees have also become leaner: health program participants have lost an average of 72 pounds, with three people losing more than 100 pounds.

Operational Excellence Award

This award is given based on a manufacturing process that is distinctive, including continuous improvement, environmental solutions/innovations, lean and Six Sigma, R&D leadership and/or application of high technology.

Ozone International, LLC, Bainbridge Island, @Ozone_Intl

Ozone International makes ozone generation systems for more than 500 global customers in the food and beverage industry. Founded in 2003, Ozone has reshaped its production methods over the past two years by customizing lean techniques to meet their needs. They improved efficiency by 25 percent and capacity by 80 percent through collecting, understanding and then standardizing worker knowledge and workplace design. This cut production for each unit from 27 days down to nine. The company also cut overtime costs by spreading out work from their busiest seasons to slower times at the beginning and end of the year. Their 5S Lean process -- sort & discard, straighten up, shine and clean, standardize routine and sustain order -- not only reduced downtown and cut costs, but also improved safety. Their governing philosophy: "Make it easier to do things right than to do things wrong, and people will do it right."

Innovation Award
This award highlights significant progress in designing, developing and delivering a blockbuster product concept. This honoree has maintained a competitive advantage by sustaining considerable innovation while remaining responsive to market demands. The products made in this facility are unique and innovative.

TigerStop LLC, Vancouver, @TigerStop

TigerStop was born in a garage 20 years ago when founder Spencer Dick became frustrated with the inherent inefficiencies of the machine operators at his cabinet business. So he invented a way to automate the cutting process. TigerStop now has sold 30,000 units on six continents, with a new distribution center in the Netherlands and a unit in use in the White House. Its lineal cutting machinery and stop/gauge pusher systems help increase its customers' productivity, ensuring that every cut, whether on wood, metal or plastic, will be the same each time in manufacturing and construction projects. TigerStop's patented technology can cut waste 30 percent for customers, and saves the time of recalibrating machines for each length of cut. They are committed to using Washington sourcing and talent in their production, with scholarships and educational reimbursement programs to help encourage lifelong learning. Active in many charity service projects, TigerStop is making innovative products and building a better community.

Green Manufacturing Award
Judges evaluated firms maximizing energy efficiency levels, going above and beyond regulatory requirements, minimizing waste from the production process and reducing their carbon footprints. Converting green manufacturing into a business opportunity was also considered.

Emerald Services, Tacoma

Emerald Services captures the value of industrial fluids, reducing the Northwest’s dependence on virgin chemicals, while making local businesses greener and customers happier. Emerald gives new life to the oil and antifreeze from the cars we drive, solvents from our factories and by-products from pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Each year, the company recycles more than 20 million gallons of oil, glycol, solvent and blended fuels, sending them back for reuse instead of disposal as regulated waste. This family-owned company has facilities in eight states, and recently invested in a new, expanded plant in Tacoma to increase its capacity and support global export of its recycled materials. This reduces fuel use, as many materials no longer need to be shipped out of state for recycling. It also allowed by-products to be turned into an alternative fuel blend for use in Washington industries without easy access to fuel pipelines, such as pulp mills along the coast.

Manhasset Specialty Company, Yakima

Manhasset Specialty Company makes black music stands that are 100 percent green. In 2002, it replaced its painting process with environmentally friendly powder coating. The process of cleaning and preparing metal music stands for powder coating did, however, create materials that needed to be disposed of. So Manhasset didn’t stop working. This year, Manhasset became the first company in the Northwest, and one of only 30 so far in the nation, to adopt a new surface treatment process which is completely waste-free. To prepare for installation of the Plaforization system, Manhasset shut down production for more than a month. They began preparing last fall, building up an inventory of their high-end music stands to meet customer demand. In February and March, they removed old equipment and set up the Plaforization line. It was the biggest upgrade of their manufacturing line in decades. The new process generates zero waste and is more efficient. Manhasset, an employee-owned company, anticipates full payback within one to two years.

Video profiles of each of the five award winners are available via the AWB website. Award photos will also be available online.

About the Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,100 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit


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