It’s a question we ask ourselves several times a year: What makes a great manufacturer?

Is it seamless production processes? Cutting-edge products? Longevity?

Thursday’s Oregon Manufacturing Awards, a Portland Business Journal event that drew 300 business leaders to downtown Portland’s Sentinel Hotel, featured appearances from some of the smartest and most innovative companies in Oregon. These included Corvallis based, Zaps Technologies and NuScale Power.

The emphasis in the preceding sentence, of course, is on the word innovative. This year, we expanded our product innovation awards to include more winners and finalists than ever before.

The program is in its sixth year, and arrives as support for manufacturing in Oregon has seldom been higher. The sector generates nearly 40 percent of our state’s gross domestic product each year and, as evidenced by recent Oregon Employment Department reports, an ever-increasing number of high-paying jobs.

Click here to see photos of the event