If Ohio ever needs a catch phrase to promote its manufacturing success, “five out of eight is great” would be appropriate. The reason is because Ohio is home to five of Whirlpool Corp.’s eight U.S. assembly plants. Those five factories are located in the Ohio cities of Clyde, Findlay, Greenville, Marion and Ottawa.
Encompassing 2.4 million square feet, the Clyde plant is the largest washing machine factory in the world. More than 3,000 workers there produce 20,000 washers per day (over three shifts), five days a week. On average, one machine rolls down the line every four seconds.
A few years ago, plant management looked into ways to increase worker safety by lessening the use of forklifts. They purchased a vision-guided vehicle (VGV) made by Seegrid Corp. and had it move parts to workers along one assembly line. Since then, the company has installed more than 50 VGVs throughout the huge plant.