We devoted the beginning of 2017 to the perfect presentation of product exteriors with 360° photos. Now we would like to present Whirlpool appliances in a somewhat different way: Directly from the heart of production, which we got to visit thanks to the perfect organisation of the local representation in CZ.
This time we headed to Poland.
Discovering the production process is very important for us, as a long-term specialist in Whirlpool Corporation brands. This knowledge allows us to give expert advice in selecting and maintaining appliances. We have already visited several factories - for instance in Norrköping, Sweden, and in Poprad, Slovakia.
Whirlpool and Indesit in the EMEA region
The family of Whirlpool Corp. brands has been operating in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (abbreviated EMEA region) since 1989. Its headquarters are in Milan in north Italy. Following the merger with Indesit in October 2014, it employs more than 24,000 people. It has sales representations on 35 global markets and 15 research and technology centres in 8 countries. One of the most important centres is the factory in Radomsko, Poland. Between 2015 and 2019, the manufacturer will invest over EUR 235 million into its development.
Image source: WhirlpoolCorp.com
Trip and impressions upon arrival in Radomsko, Poland
The 587 km journey from Prague to Radomsko was very pleasant. It is just 6 hours by car. We chose the route via Liberec to avoid the problematic D1 highway.
Immediately upon arrival, we were impressed by the size of the compound. It employs 1,700 people. A number of them move about the workplace on bicycles. Otherwise they wouldn’t manage their shift.
Whirpool Radomsko - příjezd do továrny https://t.co/sW2WfJkKNm— AP Servis (@APServisPraha) April 25, 2017
Complete tour from warehouse to packing lines
Our fantastic guide Piotr Grabowski took us through the entire facility from the warehouse to the testing laboratory. He provided perfect information about everything. The tour had three parts:
- Introductory meeting and safety training
- Tour of the technical section from the warehouse to the factory hall to the packing line
- Visit to the testing room and showroom of manufactured models
1. Access denied without protective equipment
Great emphasis is placed on operation safety. Before entering the production halls, we passed interactive safety training and received protective equipment: a vest, goggles, earplugs and protective shoe covers.
2. Admirable production efficiency
The facility itself consists of 2 maximally automated production lines. They produce over 1 million dishwashers every year. All the main parts of the appliances are automatically pressed, profiled and tallied of special stainless steel sheet metal. The individual components are supplied by automatic feeders. As a result, the line is operated by a minimum number of people.
Free-standing dishwashers and washing machines with a 60 cm width are produced on the first line. The second line alternates in producing narrow 45 cm and classic 60 cm appliances. Maximum efficiency is also monitored in component consumption, even when the line switches to a different model. For instance, it can manufacture 100 units of one model and almost instantly reset to another model.
The material and parts warehouse is continuously supplied by trucks from subcontractors. Everything is planned via a modern warehousing system and SAP analytic software.
3. Testing and journey to new owners
Following assembly, labelling, programming and testing, the appliances move to the packing line in elevators. From there they go to the retailers’ distribution centres and to their new owners.
Each dishwasher or washing machine undergoes a testing program before leaving the factory. This is why you might find water in the drum after unpacking. This definitely doesn’t mean that somebody has used your appliance - it simply passed the testing program. For instance, the testing laboratories check which meals and foods the dishwasher can cope with.
Our impressions: “It was perfect!”
We leave the factory with the impression of a cutting-edge facility with the most-advanced production equipment we have ever seen. We would again like to thank Piotr Grabowski for his perfect explanations and Whirlpool EMEA for the special invitation, which we greatly appreciate.
You can browse the entire photo report from Radomsko on our Facebook profile. Videos are available on YouTube and Twitter.
We are planning to visit other production plants and will share more information with you directly from the “source”.