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Press Releases

Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program Adds Focus on Artificial Intelligence, Next-Generation Leadership

Nominations Open for Program Honoring Companies Leading the Industry into the Manufacturing 4.0 Era

Washington, D.C. – Reflecting significant industry trends, the 2019 Manufacturing Leadership (ML) Awards will add a new emphasis on recognizing emerging individual leaders under 30 years of age and manufacturers that are excelling in the use of artificial intelligence.

Nominations are now open for the 2019 ML Awards. Through December 14, manufacturers and their partners may create and submit nominations online at

In its 15th year, the ML Awards program, presented by the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC), honors large and small companies and individual leaders shaping the future of manufacturing. Nominations are accepted from manufacturing companies from across the globe. The program also honors partners that have assisted ML Award–winning manufacturers in achieving transformational breakthroughs.

By winning an ML Award, companies and individuals are able to demonstrate that they are world-class when it comes to driving innovation, operational efficiency, customer value, the use of advanced digital technologies and employee engagement.

The ML Awards program includes categories for manufacturers that are transforming their businesses to succeed in the Manufacturing 4.0 (M4.0) era. The program recognizes outstanding projects as well as outstanding achievements by individual leaders.

For 2019, new and updated categories will raise the profile of outstanding young leaders and manufacturers using artificial intelligence to transform their operations.

“On their journeys to Manufacturing 4.0, companies are recognizing the opportunity of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to increase agility and responsiveness. They are also more keenly aware of the critical need to develop a bench of outstanding next-generation leaders for the M4.0 era,” said MLC Co-Founder and Executive Director and NAM Vice President David R. Brousell. “We are pleased to add categories to the ML Awards for 2019 that recognize these trends.”

Manufacturers and their partners may submit 2019 ML Award nominations in the following project categories.
2019 Project/Company Awards:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Analytics Leadership
  • Collaborative Innovation Leadership
  • Engineering and Production Technology Leadership
  • Enterprise Integration and Technology Leadership
  • Industrial Internet of Things Leadership
  • Operational Excellence Leadership
  • Smart Products and Services Leadership
  • Supply Chain Leadership
  • Sustainability Leadership
  • Talent Management Leadership

Manufacturers may also nominate individual leaders in the following categories:

  • Visionary Leadership Award
  • Next-Generation Leadership

Full descriptions of these categories as well as complete information about submitting a nomination are available at

Recipients of the ML Awards receive global recognition as manufacturing industry leaders and will be honored at the ML Awards Gala on June 12, 2019, at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit in Huntington Beach, California. Partners may also facilitate nominations for their outstanding manufacturing customers. Winners are those companies that receive the highest scores from the ML Awards judges. Partners facilitating winning nominations are also honored publicly.

Past ML Awards project winners have included the following companies:

  • Airbus Operations GmbH
  • Boeing Co.
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • General Electric Co.
  • General Motors Co.
  • IBM
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Merck & Company, Inc.
  • Pixelligent Technologies LLC
  • Raytheon
  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Under Armour, Inc.

Top individual ML Award winners have included Richard E. Morley, father of the programmable logic controller, industry 4.0 pioneer Dr. Detlef Zühlke, National Council for Advanced Manufacturing Founder Leo Reddy, 3D printing inventor and 3D Systems Chief Technology Officer Charles W. Hull, Ford Executive Vice President for Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs John Fleming and Sir James Dyson, inventor and founder of the Dyson Company.

Submissions may be made through December 14, 2018. ML Award winners will be notified in February 2019, prior to a public announcement. Discounted early-bird nominations will be accepted through October 31.

For more information on the ML Awards, including past recipients, deadline details, examples of completed nomination forms and to create and submit a nomination, visit

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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