Whirlpool Corporation announced the official opening of its new state-of-the-art Factory Distribution Center (FDC) adjacent to its existing manufacturing plant in Tulsa. The existing plant produces freestanding and slide-in ranges under the Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, KitchenAid and JennAir brands.
Whirlpool’s $55 million investment in the new 800,000-square-foot facility will approximately double the size of its footprint in Tulsa. The investment will support increased production capacity in the plant and improve efficiencies within the company’s existing supply chain across North America, helping Whirlpool continue to deliver products to its growing customer base.
The opening of the FDC will also add an estimated 150 new manufacturing jobs to the plant's existing workforce of 1,710.
“This is an important day for Whirlpool Corporation and further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to American manufacturing,” said Jim Keppler, Whirlpool's vice president of integrated supply chain and quality for the North America region. “It represents not only an investment in the men and women of the Tulsa plant and FDC and surrounding communities, but also in the many others who assemble appliances at our eight additional U.S. manufacturing plants. We are proud to employ more U.S. appliance manufacturing employees than any other U.S.-based appliance manufacturer, and this investment is consistent with our leadership position in the industry.”
The state-of-the-art distribution center features a number of smart technology investments, including
- A climate control system that regulates and maintains a consistent temperature and humidity profile within the warehouse to provide for an optimal working and product storage environment
- Innovative dock loading equipment that will create safer loading practices for operators while providing ergonomic and efficiency benefits
- Advanced conveyor equipment that will optimally distribute inventory, decreasing potential damage
- New information systems, which will enable best-in-class inventory control, provide real-time information and contribute to warehouse labor efficiency.
The new distribution facility is expected to be LEED certified, underscoring Whirlpool’s continued efforts towards energy efficiency and sustainability.
“This new Factory Distribution Center represents a decades-long partnership between Whirlpool Corporation and northeast Oklahoma,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “Whirlpool Corporation's addition of high-quality jobs will have a positive ripple effect across the entire region's manufacturing industry. This expansion positions Tulsa Operations for future success, and we at the Chamber look forward to a continued partnership with the company.”