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Zumtobel's UK plant crowned 'Factory of the Year 2009'

Thorn Logo © Thorn Lighting
1. October 2009

Thorn Lighting, a leading brand of the Austrian Zumtobel Group, has been named Factory of the Year 2009 at the UK's Best Factory Awards run by Cranfield School of Management and the magazine Works Management.   

Thorn’s Spennymoor factory near Durham has been named Factory of the Year for 2009 at the Best Factory Awards (BFA). The modern purpose-built lighting factory also scooped the Best Electronics & Electrical Plant and Best People Management awards and was highly commended for the Innovation award.

Dr Marek Szwejczewski, Director of the Best Factory Awards said the plant was selected as winner of the prestigious Best Factory Award for a number of reasons:

“Thorn Lighting stood out for its attention to quality, cost and delivery. Its Spennymoor factory is extremely customer focused and its performance has been so good that it is bringing products back to the UK from overseas plants. The factory has been designed for fast material flow, which has brought immense saving in terms of time and money. The company also made good use of lean six sigma tools which involved production workers in the development of improvements which significantly increased the factory’s productivity and delivery performance.


“The company has invested heavily in its staff’s technical skills and equipment to keep ahead of competition. Employee multi-skilling is the norm at the factory, with many employees being able to make any product in the range. Half its operators are on flexible contracts, which allow it to match labour to the peaks in customer demand.

Zumtobel invested around over £33m in Thorn's Spennymoor plant which opened last February. The 40,000m2 plant employs 700 people and is also home to the Academy of Light, designed to provide sales staff and customers from around Europe with application-specific training, plus a manufacturing facility for the Zumtobel Group's Tridonic Atco luminaire components business.

About Thorn

Thorn Lighting , part of the Zumtobel Group, is a highly recognised, global brand for professional indoor and outdoor lighting. Its mission is to improve the quality of life by lighting people and places.

The brand delivers technically innovative lighting solutions to broad-based target groups - especially electricial contractors, developers, end users, lighting designers, specifiers, municipalities and landscape architects - and stands for reliability, outstanding customer service, high functionality and technically advanced design. These qualities are fast making Thorn a major player for all its core market sectors.  

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