| Toshiba Celebrates Start of Washing Machine Production in Thailand
14 November, 1996
Construction of the plant began at the Bangkadi Industrial Park, north of Bangkok, in September last year. Its completion positions TPT to meet growing demand for washing machines in the Asian and Middle East markets, and to enhance Toshiba's competitiveness in the Japanese market.
The new plant is a single-story facility with a 21,600 square meter floor area. The large size of the facility allows all washing machine manufacturing processes to be carried out in one location, including sub-assembly of washing machine control panels. The new facility is also home to a plastic molding shop that turns out plastic parts for all three of TPT's product lines. This centralized approach to manufacturing enhances efficient integration of sub-assemblies into the main assembly line, and promotes higher overall productivity in TPT's manufacturing operation.
Along with the new facility, TPT has refined its logistics operation by introducing a new logistics system, based on a 16,000 square meter distribution center that will serve all three of its manufacturing plant. In addition to integrating logistics, allowing mixed shipments of products to shared destinations, the center will also receive all parts and materials for production process. This centralized operation will simplify TPT's logistical planning and cut transportation costs.
The start-up of the new washing machine operation is only one aspect of TPT's latest round of investment in new plant and equipment. Last October, the company doubled air-conditioner capacity to 550,000 units a year, and refrigerator production capacity will be doubled to 400,000 units a year, by next February. The total investment in expanded production, the new washing machine plant, and the new distribution center is 1.5 billion baht. As a result, TPT expects to see the number of people it employs rise to 3,250 people by 1998, up from 1,800 before the latest round of expansion..
TPT, a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation of Japan, was established in 1989 as a key manufacturing facility for air-conditioners and refrigerators. The current investment program has made the company the largest manufacturer of home appliances in the Toshiba group of companies.
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