Arctic, the leader of the Romanian home appliance market, marks a milestone of two million washing machines produced at its Ulmi manufacturing plant, the first Industry 4.0 factory in Romania, where the second production line was recently put into operation.
Thus, the capacity of the unit will double, reaching 2.2 million appliances a year. The investment in the second production line amounts to over EUR 37,8 million. Currently, the factory in Ulmi produces more than 300 different models of washing machines with various features, intended both for the local market and for consumers in 47 countries – 30 in Europe and 17 on other continents. Exports amount to 80% of annual production.
“With the full operationalization of the second production line in Ulmi, Arctic will annually produce over 5 million appliances in the country. Together with its 46 local suppliers, Arctic has contributed decisively to the consolidation of this industry, transforming Romania into an important player regionally. At the same time, the Ulmi plant serves as a flagship for the efficient use of energy, materials, and resources, in line with the sustainability – centred vision that Arctic and the Arçelik group share”, said Arctic Chief Executive Officer Murat Büyükerk.
Opened in 2019, following a EUR 160 million investment, the production facility in Ulmi is one of the most advanced factories in the world, integrating state of the art technologies in robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning or automation processes.
Currently over 200 robots work side by side with humans, leading to a 30% increase in productivity.
The 700.000 sqm Ulmi production hub boasts automated material handling and storage systems, quality control being fully automated. Over 70% of production operations are based on self-determined and self-managed systems with the help of Industrial Internet of Things (IioT) applications. They collect real-time information from approximately 22,000 generation points, adding to a database of millions of products and components.
So far, the Research and Development departments have been conducting tests adding up to over 500.000 hours. The Ulmi plant has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of the most innovative in the world, part of the Advanced4th Industrial Revolution Lighthouse network.
By using technologies that function according to the principles of Industry 4.0, the production of washing machines has a lower impact on the environment. 70% of total water used during the production process is recycled. Thanks to advanced wastewater treatment and rainwater collection systems, 46,000 cubic meters of water were recycled and reused – the equivalent of 17 Olympic swimming pools.
Moreover, the factory is partly powered by renewable energy, the photovoltaic system having produced over 2.6 million kWh so far, thus reducing carbon dioxide emission by around 835 tons.
The Ulmi unit has received an impressive number of accreditations for being a green factory, and it is the only one in Romania certified as LEED Platinum, the highest possible LEED rating.
In Romania Arctic also owns and operates the largest household appliance manufacturing factory in continental Europe, the Gaesti unit having produced so far over 40 million refrigerators which have been exported to more than 80 countries.