Four Utah State University students have split $5,000 as winners of the first Shigeo Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence.

Named for one of Japan's leading quality consultants, the prize is administered by the College of Business Partner's Program at USU.Receiving $2,000 for first prize was Morris Claude Speth of Providence for a paper entitled "Achieving Zero Defects Through a Total Commitment to Quality." For his paper, "SMED," James Robertson, Rock Springs, Wyo., took second prize and $1,500. SMED is single minute exchange of die, a concept proposed by Shingo to speed production time.

Third prize of $1,000 went to Leslie Noorlander of Moab for "Attaining Total Quality." Shannon Brown, Pescadero, Calif., was fourth prize winner and received $500 for "Ideas Through Suggestions."

All four of the students are seniors majoring in production management.