TULSA, Okla. — Whirlpool Corp. has opened its new state-of-the-art Factory Distribution Center (FDC) next to its existing manufacturing plant in Tulsa, Okla.
The existing plant produces freestanding and slide-in ranges under the Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, KitchenAid and JennAir brands.
The appliance maker’s $55 million investment in the FDC, an 800,000-square-foot facility, will about 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.
The opening of the FDC will also support the creation of an estimated 150 manufacturing jobs within the plant, in addition to the existing workforce of 1,710.
“This is an important day for Whirlpool Corp. and further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to American manufacturing,” said Jim Keppler, vice president of Integrated Supply Chain and Quality for the North America Region at Whirlpool.
“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.”
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.
Innovative dock loading equipment that will create safer loading practices for operators.
Advanced conveyor equipment that will 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 distribution facility is expected to be LEED certified.
“This new Factory Distribution Center represents a decades-long partnership between Whirlpool Corp. and Northeast Oklahoma,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “Whirlpool’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.”