Whirlpools and Robots: How Scott engineered their way from local manufacturer to global appliance automation supplier

Scott has a long history of appliance manufacturing; it was one of our original industries, long before our automation days. Our team know how to make appliances because we've done it too. Our washing machine was one of the best on the market, so good in fact that our customer base dwindled as nobody ever needed new machines.

Much like a Whirlpool, Scott's history with appliance manufacturing has come full circle.

Scott has a long history of appliance manufacturing; it was one of our original industries, long before our automation days. Our team knows how to make appliances because we've done it too. Our washing machine was one of the best on the market, so good in fact that our customer base dwindled as nobody ever needed new machines. Because of this, we diversified into building production lines for other appliance businesses, eventually expanding out of just washing machines into the broader metal forming industry before finally moving away from direct-to-consumer goods completely. Our focus since then has been on building appliance manufacturing lines for our customers that have the same durability & longevity as the very washing machines that lead us down the metal forming path to begin with. 

After World War II, Scott, then called J & A P Scott, noticed that whiteware was in short supply in New Zealand. Given the supply of skilled labour on offer, Scott decided to open a wringer washing machine plant. By the end of 1949, "The Scott" washing machine was released to the market, quickly gaining a reputation as the "Rolls Royce of washing machines". They were very popular with the public and had a reputation for reliability, rarely breaking down. A partnership with American brand Whirlpool in the early 1950s led to a more extensive range of machines known as "Whirlpool Scott" being produced and sold, eventually leading the company to expand. 

 

Washing Machines2

The "Scott" Washing Machine (left), Scott Twin-Tub Washing Machine (middle), and "Whirlpool Scott" (right)

 

By the 60's Scott had progressed into the production of other white goods, including clothes dryers and refrigerators. The quality of these white goods was on par with the famous washing machines, with one refrigerator still used by a New Zealand family even now – some 60 years later. While these products were well received, at the same time, other parts of the Scott business were diversifying, and developments meant that the company started moving away from direct-to-consumer appliances.  

One of the significant developments to come out around this time was developing a machine that could handle pre-painted steel and longbed machining, tools used to produce machining modules for automated line production machines. By the 1970's Scott began producing the equipment and lines used to manufacture other types of whiteware and appliances. As one of the first companies to integrate PLC (programmable logic controllers), Scott soon manufactured automated lines. Our automated appliance lines enabled our customers to produce everything from oven range hoods, oven cavities, hot water cylinders and chest freezers.

However, history always repeats itself, coming full circle in 2005 when Scott produced two refrigerator door lines for Whirlpool. These lines can produce over 350 models and were installed in Mexico, a far cry from the small range of washing machines produced for the New Zealand market only four decades earlier. While Scott no longer producing washing machines or other appliances, our history and experience make us well placed to create the automated lines needed, so our customers can manufacture the "Rolls Royce" of appliances today.

View our entire range of advanced Appliance manufacturing systems for the Cooking, Refrigeration, Water Heating, and Laundry industries.

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