Subscribe and listen to AW’s podcast!
Subscribe and listen to the Automation World Gets Your Questions Answered podcast!
Listen Here

Manufacturing Facility Overcomes Tornado Destruction, Wins Emerson OCE Award

On April 29 of this year, a weather front producing the largest number for F-4 and F-5 tornados ever recorded in such a short period slammed the southeastern United States.

The Rainsville, Alabama area was particularly hard hit by the storm. There were 30 fatalities in Rainsville, and millions of dollars of property damage. SolaHD's Rainsville facility took a direct hit by an F-5 rated tornado. More than half of the plant structure was destroyed and the entire building damaged. While dealing with the destruction around them, Rainsville manager Jimmy Owens and his SolaHD employees acted quickly to secure usable inventory and equipment. Within 48 hours, finished goods were transferred to an EGS distribution center in Memphis, TN to ensure continued service to customers. Other materials were moved to a local leased facility. Ruble was removed and temporary walls were constructed to secure the salvageable portion of the facility. With an amazing display of perseverance and commitment, production resumed May 20th, 2011. Within 40 days, the plant was exceeding production at a pace higher than the same period the prior year. In recognition of their outstanding effort, Emerson awarded the Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) Award to Jimmy Owens and the employees of the Rainsville, Alabama facility. The top six executives at Emerson select the award. The OCE award is not given annually; rather it is only handed out in those rare circumstances when a team has done something truly remarkable. For more information about SolaHD, please call 877-999-7652. Visit

SolaHD -

Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
Take Automation World's machine learning quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
How use of robotic technology is sweeping across all industries
We asked nearly 60 industrial end-users and system integrators about their use of robotic technology. This report details the trends they identified and how to compare different types of robots.
Download Now
How use of robotic technology is sweeping across all industries