In addition to cold, hot, and laundry care appliances, Gorenje Group has also been producing dishwashers since autumn last year. This is the first time in Gorenje's corporate history that these appliances are produced in Slovenia. The addition of the new manufacturing program was celebrated today with a special event that included a symbolic launch of the five-station sheet metal processing conveyor line.
Expansion of manufacturing with the new program celebrated with a special event
Dishwasher manufacturing program was shifted to Velenje from Sweden as a part of the extensive manufacturing operations restructuring effort. In addition to dishwashers, the Group also moved from Sweden to Velenje the production of premium washing machines and dryers. Both shifts have contributed to the preservation of 300 jobs in Velenje.
Dishwasher production was launched at the Velenje plant in September 2013. The program includes built-in and free standing dishwashers, as well as semi-professional dishwashers that are used, for example, in healthcare or cosmetics. These are appliances with high value added.
The Group is planning to produce 140,000 dishwashers in Velenje in this year. The majority of these will be made for the Group's own premium brand Asko – the brand upon which the Group is building up its global presence. Most dishwashers will be bound for the markets of Scandinavia, USA, and Australia.
Gorenje President and CEO Franjo Bobinac commented during today's event that took place at the cold and dishwashing appliance plant: »In its corporate history, Gorenje has never produced dishwashers in Slovenia. The importance of this production program for the Group goes beyond production of premium appliances; it lies in its role of building up the Asko brand as the Group's global premium brand.«
Strategic restructuring of manufacturing operations
Gorenje Group transferred the dishwasher production from Sweden to Velenje as a part of an extensive manufacturing operations restructuring program that kicked off in 2012 and was completed in 2013. This restructuring program first included the transfer of free standing cold appliances from Velenje to Serbia, followed by the transfer, in two steps, of washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers from Sweden to Velenje.
The completed shifts of manufacturing operations were the most challenging activities of this kind in Gorenje's history; production location was changed for as much as 20 percent of all appliances produced by the Group. Making sure the transfers proceeded as planned was a group of approximately 300 Gorenje employees from production, purchasing, logistics, IT, controlling, finance, maintenance, product management etc. Several employees were involved in multiple relocation processes. In addition to the transfer of equipment and business processes, and setting up of production at new locations, the project also involved training and education of employees.
A few figures on dishwasher production
2,000 tons of EUR
More than 2,000 tons of dishwasher production equipment was transferred from Sweden to Slovenia with 130 trucks.
Specific character of dishwasher manufacturing requires a high-tech production process that is robotized to a greater extent than production of other appliances. 18 robots are involved in the process.
The dishwasher assembly line is 260 meters long. A dishwasher takes 120 minutes to travel this distance through different stages of the production process.
Gorenje produces as many as 316 dishwasher components (cable sets, packaging, plastic semi-products etc.) in its own plants.
Gorenje produces one dishwasher every 43 seconds at the Velenje plant.