Making it to the top requires dedication, persistence, and continuous improvement.

Take Tecnova Electronics. The company has been on our Quality Leadership 100 list several times before, but this is the company’s debut as the number-one company.

The Quality Leadership 100 is a ranking based on a survey conducted by BNP Media. In an effort to showcase quality leadership, this annual survey for Quality considers factors such as: continuous improvement and internal quality programs; contribution of quality to profitability and shareholder value; average number of hours that employees receive quality training; scrap and rework as a percentage of sales; warranty costs as a percentage of sales; and registration to various standards such as ISO 9001.

Thank you to all those who participated. And for those companies who made the list, congratulations! Keep doing what you’re doing. If you’d like to be recognized, please keep an eye out for the survey this December and perhaps your company will appear in our 2021 list.

Quality Leadership 100

Tecnova Electronics Inc., Waukegan, IL

Last year was the biggest capital expense year in the history of Tecnova Electronics, an ISO-9001 certified electronic contract manufacturer that specializes in building complex electronic assemblies for commercial and industrial applications. In the last year, Tecnova added three new automated optical inspection systems, new SMT equipment, new X-ray parts counter and new laser serial number printer.

“We’ve made a lot of strides with the equipment here as part of our continuing improvement activities,” says quality manager Scott Martin.

This year the company wants to make use of all this new equipment. As Terence Coleman Jr., Tecnova’s new president, points out, quality doesn’t automatically improve “just because something shiny and new shows up in a crate.”

Quality and continuous improvement is something the company takes seriously. This, in turn, has contributed to their growing customer base. But maintaining quality as you grow can be challenging. To ensure that growth doesn’t jeopardize quality, the company has implemented an extensive training program to control process quality and consistency.

As Sean O’Day, senior vice president, says, “It’s like the old phrase, ‘Consistency is the key to quality.’”

It all adds up to a manufacturing success story. Every time I talk to Tecnova, they have some quality news to report, whether it’s a building addition, new staff, or new equipment. Tecnova was ranked as our number-two company on this list last year, and also made the top five list in 2014.

Wescon Controls, Wichita, KS

Wescon Controls provides mission critical controls to the outdoor power equipment market as well as non-automotive controls to the agriculture, construction, powersports vehicles and motorcycle markets. And they’ve been doing a great job at it. Not only did they come in at number-two in this year’s ranking, but their work has gotten plenty of recognition over the years. They’ve been awarded the Honda Power Equipment Supplier of the Year, John Deere Outstanding Supplier Performance, the Cessna Supplier Delegated Inspection Authority, E-Z Go Supplier of the Year, as well as the E-Z Go Quality Supplier of the Year. In short, it sounds as if they are doing something right.

One reason could be the company’s strong commitment to training, offering training in statistical process control (SPC), blueprint reading, and gage handling and measurement techniques. In addition, the company is committed to lean and continuous improvement, and has been ISO 9001 certified since 2003.

Reliance Machine Company, Muncie, IN

Back in 2012 when Chance Stone joined Reliance Machine Company, they weren’t really doing SPC. Today, real-time SPC is a key component of the quality program at this component manufacturer. Within a few minutes of arriving at work, Stone, the quality manager, can check how everything ran the day before.

Quality Leadership 100

Established in 1986, the company specializes in CNC machining and assembly and provides Tier One automotive components along with components for agriculture, orthopedic and alternative energy. And they continue to look for ways to improve, often using homegrown solutions.

Thanks to an internally developed database system developed over the past two years, the company is able to have better part traceability, training schedules, and material tracking.

“It just makes us a lot more efficient, a lot less likely to run out of material, or tool items. It’s become a great tool for me,” Stone says. “In the past, I used Excel data, and lots of formulas and data entry. Now it’s real time. I can click, click, click and all of our indicators are right there.”

Another big improvement of late was the adoption of IATF 16949. This helps management engage with the quality system and expands their risk analysis. “We’ve been very fortunate, our quality delivery has been near spotless,” Stone says. “Our ppm’s are really pretty spotless as well.”

In addition, Stone says the company is constantly doing internal audits and yearly third party audits. The new database has impressed both auditors and customers, Stone says. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on our improvements from potential customers during their visits.”

Electromed Inc., New Prague, MN

Knowing that your work helps makes people’s lives better is a good feeling to have. And this is a common feeling for people in Minnesota’s medical corridor, including the staff at Electromed Inc. Electromed designs, manufactures, and markets the SmartVest airway clearance system, for patients with conditions like bronchiectasis or COPD. Chuck Britz, quality engineer, says new hires are immediately trained on the importance of quality. “Everything that they are doing is about a patient receiving a quality product,” Britz says.

As a medical device manufacturer, the company is certified to ISO 13485. This year the company added 8,000 square feet of space to their facility, and acquired a new vision system.

Quality Leadership 100

Continuous improvement is key. “I honestly believe that every employee that does a job, within 10 days probably has some idea of how to improve the process. We focus on, ‘Is there a better way to do it?’ Getting employees involved in the quality system has a big impact on how we do things,” says Greg Spurlock, director, engineering and operations.

For companies looking to improve quality, he offers similar advice: “Get the people involved, really encourage their involvement. In internal audits, get employees from different areas, let them go out and learn other areas of the company, help people understand the broader aspect of the quality system,” Spurlock says. “Getting the people involved in continuous improvement is one of the biggest things you can do.”

Jay & Kay Manufacturing LLC, Croswell, MI

Jay & Kay Mfg LLC has been around a while. This customer OEM supplier to the marine industry has been in business for 30 years, providing quality work on-time and with strong customer service. As the company states, “As a full-service manufacturer, we can consistently and efficiently deliver the highest quality product on any project, from design through finished completion. This allows us to offer not only attractive timelines, but also incredible flexibility and ingenuity during every project.”

Quality Top 100

Rank Company Location Website
1 Tecnova Electronics, Inc. Waukegan, Illinois
2 Wescon Controls Wichita, Kansas
3 Reliance Machine Company Muncie, Indiana
4 Electromed, Inc. New Prague, Minnesota
5 Jay & Kay MFG LLC Croswell, Michigan
6 Promex Industries Santa Clara, California
7 WorldPak Flexible Packaging LLC Reno, Nevada
8 HudsonValley Plastics DBA Pietryka Plastics Pawling, New York
9 Littlestown Foundry, Inc. Littlestown, Pennsylvania
10 Airscan inc Lebanon, New Jersey
11 Chart Inc. Ball Ground, Georgia
12 Lee's Grinding, Inc. Strongsville, Ohio
13 Tutamen San Diego, California
14 Harbor Steel and Supply Corporation Muskegon, Michigan
15 ErgonArmor Memphis, Tennessee
16 Girtz Industries, Inc. Monticello, Indiana
17 Kelco Industries Woodstock, Illinois
18 NN, Inc. Mobile Solutions Kentwood, Michigan
19 Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Fort Worth, Texas
20 Industrial Tool Die & Engineering Tucson, Arizona
21 International Sensor Systems Inc. Aurora, Nebraska
22 Mold Precision Engineering, Inc Simi Valley, California
23 NWL Snow Hill, North Carolina
24 Ward Manufacturing Co. Evanston, Illinois
25 Jones Plastic- Williamsburg Division Williamsburg, Kentucky
26 Flowserve Vernon, California
27 Dill Air Controls Products,LLC Oxford, North Carolina
28 Atlanta BioMedical Corporation Suwanee, Georgia
29 Hub Folding Box Mansfield, Massachusetts
30 Kreis Tool Elgin, Illinois
31 Page & Pedersen, Inc. Hopkinton, Massachusetts
32 Greidert Precision, Inc. Escondido, California
33 Brookhaven National Laboratory Upton, New York
34 PTR Tool and Plastics, LLC Meadville, Pennsylvania
35 Sub-Zero Group, Inc. Goodyear, Arizona
36 Schrader Pacific Inc Altavista, Virginia
37 ORCO Precision Machine Cuba, Missouri
38 Five Landis Corp Concord Twp., Ohio
39 Total Joint Orthopedics Salt Lake City, Utah
40 PPG Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
41 RJG, Inc. Traverse City, Michigan
42 QMS Inc Glasgow, Kentucky
43 Resin Systems Amherst, New Hampshire
44 Surface Optics Corporation San Diego, California
45 Biosense Webster, Inc. Irvine, California
46 Henniges Automotive - Oklahoma Division Frederick, Oklahoma
47 Inventive Safety Solutions Auburn, Ohio
48 ScotTELECOM Arlington, Virginia
49 Man2succeed Center for Business Excellence Hosur, Tennessee
50 Wasco Regina, Canada
51 Sparqtron Corp Fremont, California
52 JAIN Irrigation Inc. Fresno, California
53 GE Cincinnati, Ohio
54 Eaton Peachtree City, Georgia
55 WIRIC Rochester Hills, Michigan
56 Vehoco Houston, Texas
57 Accu-Turn Inc. Union Grove, Wisconsin
58 Advanced Materials Joining Corporation DBA Advanced Technology Company Pasadena, California
59 PJF Inc Rockford, Michigan
60 Yokohama Tire Corporation Cornelius, North Carolina
61 Stanley Black & Decker New Britain, Connecticut
62 Schaeffler Group Fort Mill, South Carolina
63 TURBOCAM International Barrington, New Hampshire
64 Jireh Metal Products Grandville, Michigan
65 LNS America, Inc. Cincinnati, Ohio
66 BMP America Inc. Medina, New York
67 Quantum Plastics Raleigh Division Kenly, NC, North Carolina
68 Dak Americas Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
69 LINAK-US Louisville, Kentucky
70 LND, Inc. Oceanside, New York
71 Seabee Cylinders Hampton, Iowa
72 Tietronix Houston, Texas
73 Hans Rudolph, Inc. Shawnee, Kansas
74 AusculSciences Canada Inc. Ottawa, New York
75 Turner-Industries Baton Rouge, Louisiana
76 Metal Treaters, Inc. St. Paul, Minnesota
77 L3Harris Sonoma EO Santa Rosa, California
78 Film Tech LLC Stanley, Wisconsin
79 BlueScope Buildings North America Kansas City, Missouri
80 Cahoon Farms Inc. Wolcott, New York
81 dbm Optix inc Montreal, Canada
82 Q-Met-Tech Union, Kentucky
83 AJR, Inc. Marion, Indiana
84 Keshrup Systems Pvt Ltd Vasai East, Indiana
85 ISS Auburn, Ohio
86 NDT Solutions LLC New Richmond, Wisconsin
87 KBD Group Atlanta, Georgia
88 LESER LLC Charlotte, North Carolina
89 Rocore a Kelvion Company Burkesvile, Kentucky
90 LORD Corporation Erie, Pennsylvania
91 Sputtering Components, Inc. Owatonna, Minnesota