Appliance producer opens first Industry 4.0 factory in Romania after EUR 150 mln investment
Arctic, the biggest appliance producer in Romania, part of Turkish group Arcelik, announced that its new washing machine factory in Ulmi, Dambovita county, is fully operational. The company said this is the first factory in Romania that operates based on Industry 4.0 principles.
The factory was built in just 17 months on an area of over 70 hectares and required an investment of EUR 150 million. The factory implements the most recent technological innovations and automation processes, including Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications, smart equipment, interconnected devices and cooperative robotic technologies. The plant can produce 2.2 million washing machines per year, which makes it one of the largest such units in Europe.
“The new washing machine factory in Ulmi is an important step in turning Romania into an appliance production hub for the whole Europe. The factory has created over 1,400 new jobs and our products will reach over 85 countries. At the same time, the new factory is the first green production unit in Romania and a candidate for LEED Platinum certification, the highest that such a factory can achieve,” said Arctic CEO Murat Büyükerk in a press release.
The Industry 4.0 concept defines the fourth industrial evolution and uses the most recent artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic technologies, which can increase productivity by 30%. More than 70% of the production operations are based on self-determined and self-managed system, and quality control is 100% automatized, according to Arctic.
The factory also uses a modern waste water treatment system and has its own photovoltaic park, which produces 1 million KWh of electricity per year.
“Due to the advanced technologies implemented, water consumption per product will reduce by 28%. Water used in the production process will be almost 100% recycled and reused, plastic, metal, wood, cardboard and metal waste will be collected separately, and the factory is equipped with renewable energy source and green areas outside and inside, for better air quality,” said Murat Büyükerk.
Since 2002, when Arctic became part of Arcelik group, the company has increased its turnover almost eightfold, from EUR 60 million to EUR 498 million, and the production capacity also saw a similar increase, reaching over 2.9 million units per year at the refrigerator factory in Gaesti. The company has invested over EUR 170 million in new technologies and modern production management systems.
With 4,400 employees, Arctic is one of the biggest exporters in Romania, with 80% of its local production reaching over 85 markets in Europe, Africa and Asia.
(Photo source: courtesy of the company)