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Sony Pencoed factory named best in Britain

Sony Pencoed factory named best in Britain

Technology giant Sony is celebrating after its Pencoed factory was crowned Britain's Best Factory at the 2013 Best Factory Awards (BFA).

The company also walked away with the BFA innovation award and the electronics and electrical plant award at the ceremony which is now in its 22nd year.

Sony is the first Welsh organisation to have taken the top prize since the inception of the awards which are run by the Cranfield School of Management in partnership with the magazine Works Management.

Steve Dalton, managing director of the Sony UK Technology Centre at Pencoed, said: "We are overjoyed to have to have won the esteemed BFA Factory of the Year Award plus two category awards.

"This is the first time a Welsh organisation has won the accreditation and it demonstrates we are excelling in our manufacturing techniques and capabilities outside of England.

"We were up against some well-known and established manufacturing sites and to be named overall winners is a huge achievement.

"Myself and the rest of the team at Pencoed are immensely proud of this award.

"We have a reputation for being a centre for manufacturing excellence and this award is testament to this.

"As a team our drive and ambition to continue to innovate has meant we have been able to make our processes and techniques more effective and efficient.

"Furthermore, the team's loyalty, commitment and hard work to continuously help grown the organisation has ensured we are exceptional in customer service delivery and has encouraged new business opportunities by offering third-party manufacturing solutions as well as extending our own product portfolio.

"As a site we are always searching to do something better today than yesterday.

"I am confident that our commitment to innovation and improvement will put us in good stead to compete with our competitors and ensure our site's sustainability and longevity.

"Our hope is that our success will inspire other Welsh manufacturing companies and encourage them to follow in our footsteps."

Director of the Best Factory Awards, Dr Marek Szwejczewski, said: "Sony's facility in Pencoed is a high performance plant in every sense.

"It has a highly skilled workforce, state-of-the-art electronics manufacturing equipment and processes, and a visionary and proactive leadership team, who are ensuring continued growth.

"The factory's unique combination of skills meant that it recently started production of a range of professional camcorders, the only factory in Europe to do so for Sony.

"The fact that global production of the new Raspberry Pi mini-computer moved from China to Pencoed is testament to the factory's ability to manufacture high quality products."

Welsh Government economy minister Edwina Hart congratulated Sony on its award win and said: "This is excellent news and a fitting tribute to the hard work of the management and workforce who between them have transformed the Pencoed facility.

"It has an international reputation as a centre for manufacturing excellence and the highest quality standards which has been further endorsed by winning these highly prestigious awards that are well deserved."

Sony's UK Technology Centre was officially opened by the Queen in 1992.

The site provides work for 500 people including 350 direct employees and 150 staff working for the 28 companies based in a business incubation centre on site.

The factory recently expanded its portfolio with an additional six professional camera products including a camcorder which can produce footage suitable for broadcast.