Born to grow

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Since 2008, Askoll Group plant in Mexico has been responding to the needs of a wide US Home Appliance market by focusing on the proximity to the customer and the ability in innovating processes and products.

The strength necessary to compete, innovate and respond to the exigencies of increasingly demanding international partners, consists in the ability to develop winning Group synergies, a strategy based on the physical proximity to the customers on one hand, and to the raw materials on the other one. A strong and firm concept for Askoll Group that during its industrial history has developed an integrated and organic team approach among its worldwide plants, located in strategic business areas: besides the Headquarter in Dueville (VI), Italy, the Group is present with its production plants in Brazil, Mexico, China, Romania and Slovakia.
In the contemporary scenario, the Mexican factory, established in 2008, plays an important role in the Home Appliance components market, in a sphere of action that ranges from the wide US market to the local one, as explained by Daniel Plascencia, General Manager of Askoll Mexico, in his interview.

Askoll Mexico plant located in Coahuila Region, 25900 Mexico, strategically situated in proximity to North American and Mexican customers

Which reasons led Askoll to the opening of a factory in Mexico and which benefits are brought to the global structure in terms of production and distribution?
We want to be always near to our customers, North American region is a huge and demanding market, been located in Mexico provides flexibility due to short supply chain and low transportation cost. The plant also provides high quality and efficiency in our processes due our workforce is highly qualified, very competitive labour cost, and an environment that favours business.
Askoll Mexico is established strategically in the northeast of Mexico in the state of Coahuila, very near to US, which is a region very well known for its very big automotive cluster where, lately, also the appliance cluster has been increasing his presence. In addition, this region counts with a variety of technical education schools that provides a very skilled work force.
Today Askoll Mexico is a very well known company in the region for the customers and for the talent attraction. Now days with the nearshoring phenomenon, Askoll Mexico has become the first option to provide pumps solutions to the US market.

Daniel Plascencia, General Manager Askoll Mexico

Which home appliance components categories are produced in Mexico and which are the relating applications in the Home Appliance market?
We produce drain and recirculation pumps for washing machines, drain and recirculation pumps for dishwashers and fans for ovens.
Fifteen years ago, we started with drain pumps for washing machines, and little by little, we have increased our products portfolio earning the largest-scale Appliance customers.
At the beginning of the 2010s, Askoll invested in a fully automated line for the manufacture of circulation pumps for dishwashers and it was a complete success, 60% of dishwashers in the US have our pumps.
In addition, just a few months ago we carried out an extremely important project, where with a great multidisciplinary team of colleagues from Italy, Romania and Mexico, we implemented the manufacturing of a Fan product with the realization of a new, automated and fully inserted line with different Poka Yokes, to ensure the best quality to our customers. It was an extraordinary experience because we were able to feel what a great team we are at Askoll, no matter what country we are from.

Highly automated processes are the main focus of Askoll strategies, assuring a continuous quality improvement, scrap reduction, productivity increase

Which are the projects implemented, in terms of production and sales strategies, in order to answer the US market needs?
We follow the group’s strategy of focusing on highly automated processes and lean manufacturing. Also working with standard processes under the ISO 9000 standard.
Therefore, no matter if you go to our plants in China, Brazil or Europe, you will see the same kind of standardize automated process in order to insure quality and flexibility to our customers.
We are continuously managing operative projects to improve quality, reduce scrap, reduce down time, increase productivity; all those projects developed using lean tools and Kaizen events forming natural work groups, visual factory, standard work.
We have high focus on supplier development to continue cost improvement; our goal is to obtain 60% of our supply base in the North American region.
Our sales department is located on site guided by our corporate sales office. In this way, our presence with the client is constant and we can perceive their needs and communicate them directly to our manufacturing. In addition, we have all the engineering support and laboratory tests on site to streamline responses to the client.

Beside the US market, do you expect to develop in the future new sales markets or new applications for the Mexican plant?
Most of our products are sold in the US market; the rest is for the local market.
We are suppliers of an important Mexican client for Appliances that also has a large presence in the South American market and is very competitive.
In fact, one of the main reasons why Askoll Mexico is located in this region is also because of the proximity we have with this customer plants, one located 5 minutes and another a few hours away.
In addition, we have a potential customer located in the centre of Mexico, with the goal of becoming their suppliers in the near future.
About the future markets, we are expecting to introduce a dryer motor for the US market in the next couple of years.

Askoll Mexico team, a skilled workforce who guarantees constant and rapid answers to the customers’ requirements

Have you planned or are you planning to launch innovative projects about products, processes or sales network for the Mexican plant?
Askoll Mexico has grown steadily during all these years, even during the pandemic, and we continue to grow. Being surrounded by large companies in the automotive sector has meant a challenge to maintain talent, so one of the projects in which we are focused is on the continuum development and training of our staff, developing career plans where both professional and economic growth is encouraged, following the philosophy of working with a lean group.
We remain focused on growing our laboratory resources to improve the speed of response to market needs, so we continually invest in test and development equipment, as well as training for all of our technicians and specialists.
By this 2023, Askoll Mexico will start other two new projects, a circulation pump for dishwasher and a drain pump for washer machine. With this couple of products and the continuous growing of the fan, we are expecting to achieve +40M USD turnover within 2024.
Besides that, we are strongly working now to develop our steel and aluminium stamping supply bases locally; at the same time, we are looking to localize the small components supply base also.
Our excellent production lines distribution allow us to focalize to keep automatizing our process and expand our production and warehouse area from 5,000 sqm to 10,000 sqm.
Askoll will continue developing innovative solutions focusing on efficiency, sustainability, and quality as our new BPM internal rotor for WM and BPM motor for dryers and condensers.
This and much more: taking advantage of the other Group business units, we can develop activities for the aquarium market and electrical mobility components.