The John Deere Worldwide Commercial and Consumer Equipment Division, based in Cary, NC, recently was honored by the Professional Engineers of North Carolina (PENC). The company’s 737 and 757 Z-Trak commercial mowers were selected as Mega Company recipients of the Governor’s New Product Award at PENC’s 2003 annual meeting.
Co-sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the North Carolina State Industrial Extension Service, the awards are given each year to recognize companies that have used innovative engineering skills to develop new products and techniques that drive the state’s economy and make North Carolina one of the most technologically advanced states in the nation.
“To be recognized by a panel of peer engineers in North Carolina is quite an honor, and we’re all proud of our accomplishments,” said Dave Park, project engineer, John Deere Turf Care. “John Deere is committed to its community and state, and this award is a good example of not only our teamwork and dedication but also our contribution to the state’s economy.”
Any new product, machine, process or material that has been developed or manufactured totally or in part in North Carolina and that has been placed on the market in the past five years may be considered for the Governor’s New Product Award. For the 2003 award, any new product placed on the market between Sept. 1, 1998, and Aug. 31, 2002, is eligible. Winners are selected in up to four categories based on company size (more specifically, on the number of employees) and are evaluated on the following criteria, with the first two weighted most heavily:
• Engineering Innovation and Ingenuity. A product does not have to be high-tech to be selected. An ingenious or innovative commercial product can merit recognition as well. Also eligible are improved processes that may be used to manufacture very low-tech or everyday products.
• Economic Contribution to North Carolina. While applicants may desire not to disclose actual sales or revenue figures for competitive reasons, the applications are reviewed for evidence that the product has been commercially successful and that it has resulted in jobs, revenue or other benefits to the state and its citizens.
• Improved Function, Ease, Savings in Use. In short, candidate products — products that offer some improvement over previous or competitive approaches —are evaluated for practicality.
• Safety. The panel evaluates each product to identify safety advantages and to assess whether legitimate safety concerns have been appropriately addressed.
• Product Appearance, Packaging, Marketing. Entrants are encouraged to provide examples of product literature, photographs or brief video presentations for evaluation by the selection panel.
The John Deere 737 and 757 Z-Trak mowers are manufactured by John Deere Turf Care in Fuquay-Varina, NC.
For more information, call 800/537-8233.