ABBOTT PARK, Ill., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) has been awarded the Shingo Prize, an international award for operational excellence, by the Shingo Institute at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. Abbott's vascular devices manufacturing facility in Clonmel, Ireland, received the award, recognizing the site's initiative to develop and maintain continuous improvement to achieve operational excellence. The prize is awarded to organizations that demonstrate a culture where principles of operational excellence are deeply embedded into the thinking and behavior of all leaders, managers and associates. "Only the highest-performing organizations are considered for the Shingo Prize," said Robert Miller, executive director at the Shingo Institute. "Organizations that receive the top Shingo Prize have successfully created a culture characterized by excellence, respect, humility, the quest for perfection and flow of value to the customer. Ultimately, these are some of the best organizations in the world." The Shingo Prize, established in 1988, is named after Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo, who distinguished himself as one of the world's thought leaders in concepts, management systems and improvement techniques. The Shingo Prize began as a way to recognize and inspire excellence in manufacturing but has grown to serve as the global standard for enterprise excellence. The Shingo Prize is open to organizations across all industries and sectors globally. Abbott's vascular devices manufacturing facility in Clonmel is the first organization in Europe to achieve the standards required to receive the top Shingo Prize. Abbott's Clonmel facility is a center of excellence in the manufacturing of medical devices used to treat people with vascular diseases, including heart disease, in more than 100 countries around the world. By adopting the Shingo model of operational excellence and continued improvement, the team at Abbott further developed and strengthened its long-term vision and strategy, discovered the most effective ways to foster collaboration among employees, and identified opportunities to enhance the way the company manufactures medical devices. As a result, the Clonmel site has achieved significant increases in productivity, while maintaining the highest standards of quality as it brings innovative medical technologies to the market.