The Whirlpool Corporation plant in Poprad successfully passed the first World Class Manufacturing (WCM) audit. The examination was carried out by an external Certified Auditor from the WCM Association on 04-05 May, 2017.

The Audit took place in the Poprad factory, a cutting-edge manufacturing facility in northern Slovakia, at the foot of the High Tatra Mountains. Poprad 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.

Whirlpool Poprad factory passed the first World Class Manufacturing audit

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. 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.

“I’d like to thank the entire Poprad team for their tremendous efforts and the outstanding result achieved, and the Operating Excellence and Human Resources central teams for their support in the preparation phase and for continuously acting as an engine of transformation across all EMEA factories”, said Davide Castiglioni, Vice President Integrated Supply Chain, Whirlpool EMEA.

“Poprad plant World Class journey just started and gave us opportunity to learn the beauty of Zero principle and is showing us the way that we will go with aim to become world class,” commented Michal Major, Plant Director, Whirlpool Slovakia, Poprad. “Our success is result of great cooperation and teamwork of factory and central team.”

The Poprad Factory manufactures front loader and top loader washing machines and with a yearly production of over 2 million units represents the largest washing machine factory in the EMEA region.