ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Over the past few years, Whirlpool Corporation Commercial Laundry, a division of Whirlpool Corp., has made “substantial investments” in its facilities, products and services with the intent of moving the industry forward, the company says.
“We are celebrating the completion of ongoing investments in the Fall River, Mass., commercial laundry production facility and distribution center,” says Trey Northrup, general manager of Whirlpool Corp. Commercial Laundry. “Through listening to our customers, we have made great moves to continue our commitment to our portfolio of products and services.”
The Fall River manufacturing facility is intended to support strong customer demand for Whirlpool-built commercial laundry equipment. The $35 million project includes upgrades to the 300,000-square-foot facility, which will be Whirlpool’s largest plant in the world dedicated to commercial laundry.
“The advanced production here supports the growth of our premium commercial laundry business, which includes some of the most innovative multi-load washers and dryers, specialty products, and industrial dryers offered in the marketplace,” says Northrup.
Whirlpool’s acquisition of the Fall River facility means the Maytag® Commercial Laundry brand now has customized production washer capabilities.
“We’ve done this to continue our leadership in engineering, design and manufacturing solutions to meet the increasing demands of the commercial laundry industry,” says Northrup.
“The Fall River facility allows for flexibility and nimble product offerings through its configure-to-order capability,” says Raul Rincon, Fall River plant director.
The latest platform advancement is a production line solely dedicated to Maytag Commercial Laundry’s rigid- and soft-mount multi-load washers.
As part of the 59th Maytag Commercial Laundry Meeting earlier this month, a group that included local dignitaries, Maytag trade customers and others got a first-hand look at the new washer platform that will produce models ranging in size from 20 pounds to 65 pounds. The new machines are due to start rolling off the line this summer.
The washers can be configured in hundreds of different ways, Maytag says, allowing customers to choose among different water-heating options, electrical connections, control interfaces, water inlets, drain systems and cabinet construction options.
James and Rhonda West, fourth-generation owners of distributor Best Wash Inc., Humble, Texas, say they enjoyed the behind-the-scenes tour.
“We got a lot of good information about how and where the product is being made,” says James West. “And it was really interesting to see the testing stations and environmental control lab.”
Sales and service support have also been expanded to include more resources and an enhanced call center at Fall River.
“These investments in our manufacturing facilities, products and services are examples of our ongoing commitment to manufacturing and reinforce our belief that the state of Massachusetts serves as a manufacturing center of excellence for commercial laundry equipment,” says Pam Klyn, vice president of the global product organization for Whirlpool Corp.