Awards of Excellence

of Excellence

Award Descriptions

The following award descriptions and submission requirements are provided to help guide your decision to enter the appropriate category. Short, concise submissions are acceptable providing you cover all the points addressed in the criteria below. Incomplete entries cannot be considered.

The deadline for PMA Awards of Excellence entries has passed. Winners were announced in November 2019 at FABTECH.

Contact Pete Ulintz with questions.


Higgins - Caditz Design Award

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Metalformers are constantly challenged to improve product design. This award, the industry’s highest recognition for designing and engineering excellence, is presented to an innovative metalforming company for creative and effective product design. Any manufacturing company may submit a part or product for consideration. Entries may be an original part design or redesign successfully produced within the last three years. The entry should show originality and effectiveness of design as well as demonstrate appreciable cost savings or other benefits.

Please submit:

1. A clearly written description and supporting high-resolution digital photos
2. Before/after part drawings (sized to 11x17 or 8½x11)
3. Samples of original and redesigned parts, if possible
4. A description of press, dies and other equipment on which part is produced (include photos, if possible)
5. Before/after part cost comparisons and/or total savings achieved as a percent (%)
6. The number of parts produced
7. Comments on functional improvements to original design
8. Before/after photographs illustrating innovative design changes (color photos or .tif files preferred)

The Worcester Pressed Steel Co., Worcester, MA, created the award in 1955 in memory of W.P.S. founder John Woodman Higgins and former chairman of the association, Carter C. Higgins. The award is now sponsored by The Quarterly Club in memory of its founder and past PMA chairman, Clem Caditz.


Clips & Clamps Industries Educational Institution Award

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Companies in the metalforming industry have increasing challenges in the area of employee training. Many, either individually or partnering with other metalforming companies, are working cooperatively with institutions that provide necessary training. This award recognizes an educational institution (either public or private) that provides exemplary training and education services to companies in the metalforming industry.

The winning institution should provide coursework that directly enhances skills and knowledge of current and future manufacturing personnel within the metalforming industry.

Please submit:

1. A clearly written description and supporting high-resolution digital photos
2. A description of the educational program that describes its objectives and illustrates its utilization and impact on the metalforming industry, including feedback from users
3. A thorough outline of the program content showing its structure and implementation, referencing such things as curriculum development, use of NIMS skill standards if appropriate, creation and/or utilization of materials, techniques and record keeping
4. A description of the population (companies and individuals) served by the program, with a description of job function/skill levels included
5. A description of the results achieved and benefits to the industry and individuals utilizing the institution’s services
6. Any evaluations/recommendations/testimonials received

Clips & Clamps Industries, Plymouth, MI, sponsors the award.


Link Systems Process Control Award

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The application of in-process electronics, sensors and closed-loop control elements are revolutionizing the metalforming industry. This award promotes the application of electronic-analog closed-loop process controls in the metalforming process by recognizing innovative electronic solutions implemented by a North American manufacturing company, which have resulted in significant quality, cost reduction and/or productivity improvements.

Please submit (manufacturing companies only):

Short, to-the-point submissions that meet the specific criteria below are required (note that best prior applications were only two pages but addressed each point below concisely).

1. A clearly written description that identifies an analog closed-loop process control solution which includes identification of the sensor types, control methods and final control devices (monitoring solutions and those that require human intervention between the sensor and the final control device are not acceptable, i.e. operator interpretation of data or PC-only software)
2. An outline of the various alternatives for controlling the process that were considered and an explanation of the reasons why the method presently in use was selected
3. An explanation of what is unique or innovative about the method selected
4. Before and after samples, data and cost/benefit analysis with explanations of how these demonstrate/justify significant improvements in quality, cost reduction and/or productivity
5. Supporting high-resolution digital images

Note: Process control solutions developed and implemented solely by the manufacturer will be viewed more favorably than those instituted directly by a supplier or consultant.

Link Systems, Nashville, TN, sponsors the award.


Ulbrich Award for Competitive Excellence in Product Development

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Parts produced of metal possess superior qualities for many applications. In recent years, competitive processes and materials have threatened inroads into the metals marketplace. This award recognizes a metalforming company that develops and manufactures a product that best utilizes metal in place of a competitive material, or that develops a product using flat-rolled material at a significant cost reduction to customers on a product that was previously manufactured using more costly manufacturing processes, i.e. machining, tubing, metal injection molding, casting, etc.

Please submit:

1. A clearly written description and project overview
2. A clear demonstration of the best utilization of metal in place of a competitive material, or a clear demonstration of the development of the product using flat-rolled material at a significant cost reduction that was previously manufactured using more costly manufacturing processes
a summary of the economic and efficiency benefits to the processes and company
3. A description of what is unique and/or innovative about the new product 4. Supporting high-resolution digital pictures and/or sample parts

Ulbrich Stainless Steels and Special Metals, Inc., North Haven, CT, sponsors the award.


Zierick Manufacturing Corporation Productivity Award

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This award recognizes outstanding achievement by a metalforming company in the development and implementation of programs, processes and utilization of assets that lead to significant improvements in productivity. Productivity is defined, for the purposes of this award, as the quantity of good products produced per unit of manpower, equipment, time and/or material. Quality and reduction of downtime are considered important factors in achieving improved productivity.

Please submit:

1. A clearly written description and supporting high-resolution digital photos
2. A description of the philosophy employed by management to improve productivity
3. A detailed outline of the program
4. Pertinent sample materials
5. A detailed description of benefits to your company
6. A summary of unique program features

Zierick Manufacturing Corporation, Mount Kisco, NY, sponsors the award.


Pridgeon & Clay Excellence in Quality Award

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This award recognizes a metalforming company for outstanding achievement in the development and implementation of a company-wide quality system that effectively uses continuous improvement. If your company has recently instituted a vibrant quality system or has made innovative changes to an existing quality system, you should submit an application.

Please submit:

1. A clearly written description of the program demonstrating, where applicable, these basic key elements of a company’s quality system:
a. executive management commitment
b. periodic management quality system review
c. use of statistical data
d. use of preventive action
e. a dedication to employee training and education
f. supplier partnerships in an effort to reduce noncomformance
g. evidence of second- or third-party assessments
2. Evidence of improvement, such as KPI, documentation pertaining to customer quality awards or special recognition the company has received for its quality system
3. An explanation of the use of any unique tools or techniques that aided the company in achieving an outstanding quality system, including such things as self-directed work teams, benchmarking and TPM
4. Sample materials/photos depicting accomplishments and other measurable results

Pridgeon & Clay, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI, sponsors this award.


A.R. Hedberg Training & Education Award

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A company’s employees are one of its greatest resources. Improving the capabilities of employees through education and training is, therefore, essential. This award recognizes a company for notable efforts to technically train and educate its employees by instituting a total training program throughout the company.

Please submit:

1. A clearly written description and supporting high-resolution digital photos
2. A description of the employee technical training program, explaining its objectives and illustrating management commitment to a well-defined institutionalized training process
3. A thorough outline of the program content showing its structure and implementation, referencing such things as curriculum development, training techniques, record keeping and feedback (samples or evidence of specific training materials should be included)
4. The number and classifications of employees participating in the program
5. A description of results achieved and clearly defined benefits to the company and its employees

The award is sponsored by HPL Stampings, Inc., Lake Zurich, IL, and is in memory of HPL’s co-founder A.R. (Ray) Hedberg, a recognized leader in employee training and one of only four individuals to receive honorary member status in the association. The winning entry receives a commemorative plaque and a $1,500 cash prize presented to an educational institution of the recipient’s choice that provides coursework directly enhancing metalforming technology.