The "Factory of the Year" is one of the most renowned industry competitions in Europe. The winners of the current benchmark competition are honored at the congress of the same name.

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Information on the competition

Industrial companies can only benefit from taking part in the Factory of the Year competition. Clearly, winning a prestigious award like Factory of the Year is hugely motivating for employees. But any business, irrespective of whether it actually picks up an award, can gain from taking part. In addition, it’s free.

As participants have noted, time and again, the process of completing the questionnaire alone can draw attention to weaknesses in a company’s performance. All businesses taking part receive a detailed, confidential evaluation, that tells them how they ranked in comparison with companies with which they share a similar starting position. Shortlisted candidates receive a visit from an experienced Kearney audit team and are given initial expert feedback. And the Factory of the Year event offers an ideal opportunity to share ideas and learn the secrets behind the successes scored by the best in the competition.

Process and deadlines



The competition is open to manufacturing companies in any industry sector. They can submit applications for factories and business units. Taking part is free of charge. The number of employees should be at least 100.

You must complete the questionnaire to take part in the competition. Typically, the questionnaire takes 5-10 days to complete. The better your company data is already organized, the easier it is to transfer it to the questionnaire.

Once the completed questionnaires have been thoroughly evaluated, the competition finalists are selected and will receive an on-site visit by Factory of the Year representatives for an assessment.

The Factory of the Year competition’s jury panel will then select the winners. To win, contenders have to demonstrate outstanding performance or exceptional creativity in specific competition categories.

The winners will be announced at the end of September and published in the industry journal Produktion. Winners will be visited by a Produktion editor and profiled in detail in a special year-end edition of the magazine.

The prizes will be awarded in March next year at the annual Factory of the Year conference.

You could win an award in any of these categories

There are seven main categories, plus a special “Best Startup” category

Factory of the Year

GEO Award

Excellent Large Series Assembly

Excellent Small Series Assembly

Excellent Production Network

Competitiveness by digitization

Excellent site development

Best Startup Category

Young start-up teams can present their idea for the industry of tomorrow at the congress – the audience decides who will win.

Best Startup

Winners 2021

More than 2,000 factories have taken part in this benchmark competition since its inception in 1992. Here are the winners of the previous years.

Winners 2020

Winners 2019

Conference 2022

Join Europe’s largest industry meeting for production and learn from the winners of this year’s competition what sets them apart from their competitors.

Startup Challenge



Past winners

Advisory Board

Jörg Cwojdzinski

Vice President Supply Chain Management, ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG, München

Katrin Fricke

Plant Manager, Diehl Controls, Wangen im Allgäu factory

Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Evi Hartmann

Chair of Supply Chain Management at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Nuremberg

Johann Kraus

Senior Vice President Production, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG, München

Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Uwe Loos

Former CEO of FAG Kugelfischer AG, Schweinfurt, and DEKRA AG, Stuttgart

Roman Löw

Former automotive company plant manager and managing board member, currently working as a consultant, coach and interim manager for major industrial companies

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil.

Reimund Neugebauer

President of the Fraunhofer Society, Munich

Heinrich Nottbohm

Former manager of the Chemnitz Engine Plant, Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH

Torsten Ratzmann

CEO of egeplastinternational GmbH


Bernd Schmidt

VicePresidentOperations Strategy& CI at BL Transformers, Hitachi ABB Power Grids Ltd.

Prof. Dr.-Ing., Dipl.-Wirt. Ing.

Günther Schuh

Director of the Machine Tool Laboratory WZL at RWTH Aachen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT

Peter Wiedemann

CTO, Rational AG