Visit to Electrolux Professional Factory inspires students from University of Florence 

The business of Electrolux Professional and our approach to product and business innovation was showcased to graduate students from University of Florence (UniFi) during a tour of its facilities in Pordenone, Italy, on November 25th 2022.

A group of ten students studying Management Engineering along with their Professor Mario Rapaccini enjoyed an industry visit to Electrolux Professional manufacturing facility in Pordenone, to learn about the products and processes within a manufacturing business. The group was welcomed by Marco Toffolo, VP Customer Care, Paolo Mauri, Customer Care Director, Davide Benvenuti, Innovation Hub Manager and Barbara Cancian, Guest Relations Coordinator, as well as Anand R. Moorthy, PhD student in Servitization at the University of Florence in collaboration with The Research Hub by Electrolux Professional. 

The event began with an overview of the company and its key milestones narrated by Marco followed by a presentation on the Open Innovation process at Electrolux Professional by Davide which was very well received by the enthused students. The group then visited the Center of Excellence which exhibits a wide range of professional appliances in food, beverage and laundry segments. Paolo guided the students through each section, explaining in detail the customer context, the unique product features and its positioning in the market. 

After a brief lunch at the company’s canteen the students visited the R&D and reliability labs where Lidia Boschiero, David Verardo and Justin Corona gave the group a rundown on product development and international quality control process. The students were amazed to see the live demonstration of products undergoing tests for their reliability and overall quality. The next session was led by Federica Pierini and James Trevisan to the factory units where they watched technicians at work in one of the state-of-the-art production areas, where they were told about manufacturing processes and techniques. 

Other activities included a review of the research conducted by Prof. Rapaccini in collaboration with other researchers from universities of Mondragon (Spain) and Tampere (Finland). This talk synthesised the research findings following the interviews with executives from various functions within Electrolux Professional specifically on how we approach the Customer Care business through Essentia. It also highlighted the opportunities for enhancing existing customer services and steps to transition along the advanced services spectrum.  

Overall, the industry visit provided an exposure to real working environment, a valuable complement to the training received at the University. It sparked engaging discussion with a lot of Q&A particularly on innovation and design and about career options after completing the Master’s program. 

Mario Rapaccini, the Professor who organized the student group, said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for students to critically observe how the concepts learnt throughout the two-year master’s program at the University is being integrated for practical utility in real life. It will also help the students to learn more about the broad range of career opportunities whether in research or in the industry”.

“It was a great learning experience. I was particularly amazed to see how innovation process is applied to develop and enhance professional equipment in catering and laundry business.”  – Giulia, Student – Master’s in Management Engineering

“It was fascinating to visit the Electrolux Professional manufacturing facility. It highlighted the importance of the concepts we’ve been learning in our Operations & Reliability engineering courses.” – Leonardo, Student – Master’s in Management Engineering