Ford Motor Company Fund has granted $50,000 to Utah State University to help carry on a prize that recognizes productivity and quality.

The money will go a long way in ensuring the future success of the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing, according to Ross Robson, executive director of the Shingo Prize. The prize is administered by the office of business relations in USU's College of Business.The Shingo Prize is awarded to U.S. companies for excellence in manufacturing and also to individuals for excellence in research related to manufacturing process and improvements.

A national board of examiners evaluates companies on manufacturing processes that show noteworthy achievement in productivity improvement, quality enhancement and customer satisfaction. In the two years the prize has been awarded, only two companies have met the strict criteria of the examiners-Globe Metallurgical Inc., Beverly, Ohio and United Electric Controls Company of Watertown, Mass.

Globe was able to reduce waste by over $10 million a year, save $1 million in transportation costs, and increase productivity by 367 percent. United Electric reduced total inventory by 50 percent, increased on-time deliveries from 60 percent to 95 percent, and used mistake proofing to cut in process inspections by 700 percent.

The prize is named for the late Shigeo Shingo, one of the world's leading experts on improving the manufacturing process.

Shingo selected Utah State University to administer the prize because of the world-class Partners in Business seminars, Robson said.