Whirlpool: the plant in Poprad passed the first WCM audit

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The Whirlpool Corporation plant in Poprad successfully passed the first World Class Manufacturing (WCM) audit. “The factory – explains the company – is a cutting-edge manufacturing facility in northern Slovakia and it has in fact been pioneering the adoption of the WCM methodology at global level since June 2016, with more than 100 days of training and several Kaizen events which translated into measurable results in safety, quality and productivity”. World Class Manufacturing is a process-driven approach that sets one of the global manufacturing industry’s highest standards for integrated management of manufacturing plants and processes. It is a pillar-structured system based on continuous improvement and designed to eliminate waste and loss from the production process by identifying objectives such as zero injuries, zero defects, zero breakdowns and zero waste. The main parameters for determining world-class manufacturers are quality, cost-effectiveness, flexibility and innovation. To certify improvements, a system of periodical audits is used to evaluate a selection of WCM pillars, forming an overall score for each plant that is the basis for three levels of excellence: Gold (80 points), Silver (60 points) and Bronze (50 points). “The Slovakian site scored 18 points as a result of the auditors’ observations, well above the average of all the plants that have undertaken this audit in the last 10 years – Whirlpool explained -. A great achievement for a first-time audit, considering that the most proficient (fast moving) plants entering WCM for the first time on average score 17 points. The auditor highlighted the fact that, coming from our previous Lean Program, the industrial site in Poprad has a very good basic WCM knowledge and mindset. He also said that the Bronze level can be achieved by 2019, which is in line with the manufacturing plan of the plant”. The Poprad factory manufactures front loader and top loader washing machines and has a yearly production of over 2 million units.