When I received an invitation to tour Electrolux’s cooking products factory, I initially didn’t make much sense of the scale of their production capabilities. But wow. Situated in the Adelaide suburb of Dudley Park, within a space of 92,000sqm (44,800sqm covered), 1527 cookers are manufactured every day by 576 staff (includes direct, indirect and R&D team) and 32 robots.
Here’s a little video that I captured during the tour:
Everything starts off here at the tandem press line. The production day shift across the factory floor is a standard 8 hours per day, but the tandem press line runs 24 hours per day on 3 shifts, 5 days per week, to keep up with the production requirements. There are 7 robots on the tandem press line which are run by 2 people per shift. Essentially, the robots bend, hem, drill and cut metal sheets into various panels as pictured below.
While much of the process is automated, highly skilled staff are required to lubricate the press, reprogram it to press different panel specifications, and manage it to ensure it is constantly ticking.
From there, the panels are sub-assembled and begin to take the form of ovens, cooktops and rangehoods. They dangle above us on conveyor belts and go into a powder enamel room where it gets coated in a porcelain finish. In the room, four ABB six-axis robots are automated to control powder coating gun movements, ensuring high flexibility and consistency for the 139 different models the factory manufactures.
With an ability to monitor the conveyor’s progress and distinguish the orientation and differences in the oven cavities and grill boxes, the entire powder coating system works miraculously harmoniously.
The panels are respectively sprayed in either a white or black finish and then it hits the furnace.
Meanwhile, another set of robots are responsible for assembling the outer door of free-standing cookers. This article published by PACE (Process & Control Engineering) goes into depth about this amazing and delicate process.
Just as I was beginning to question the astonishing level of robotic automation, we’re guided through the production maze to an area where masses of shiny new cooking products are getting their final touches. By humans. Oven door panels are configured, handles are attached and Australia made stickers are proudly stuck on.
Every product manufactured is then tested rigorously to ensure it is fully functional.
The entire process, down to the plastic wrapping and dispatch labelling is well syncronised.
To put this factory tour into perspective, we’re told they forecasted that 315,466 units were manufactured last year, which are marketed under brands such as Electrolux, Westinghouse, AEG and Simpson. Most of this ends up in homes and commercial kitchens across Australia and New Zealand.
The factory tour ends at the storage and dispatch area. We’re guided back to the bus and drive off to Sticky Rice Cooking School, located in Adelaide Hills.
Sticky Rice consists of a cooking school with premium kitchen appliances by Electrolux as well as three luxury villas on the premises.
The cooking school helps participants to create restaurant quality dishes in exotic Asian cuisines such as Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, Indonesian and Malaysian. Celebrity chefs to have taught there include David Thompson and Luke Nguyen. I had the privilege of attending an intimate masterclass with their greatest celebrity chef yet – the legendary Tetsuya Wakuda!
The venue, a restored 1940’s building, is deceptively large; there’s capacity for up to 18 in the hands-on cooking school, and out back, there’s a new outdoor arena complete with a kitchen garden, a grand Bali Hut and deluxe BBQ and outdoor cooking features. Each of the three luxury villas have been architectually-designed to fit their respective themes. Guests can choose from the tropically inspired “Bali”, the stylish monochromatic “Zen” or the clean lines of the Japanese inspired “Yoko”.
A smiley Tetsuya was waiting for us in the Zen villa…
Those of you with chef friends will know that when it comes to cooking for themselves at home, most chefs like to keep it simple, if they even cook at all. As a Electrolux ambassador, Tetsuya was here to share a few easy entertaining tips.
I’ll be sharing some of the other recipes in later blog posts, but this first one stood out the most because of it’s sheer simplicity. All it is, is scrambled eggs, but Tetsuya adds an indulgent twist with parmesan, cream, creamed corn, butter, ricotta and chives.
“Enjoy with a glass of champagne on Sunday morning” he cheekily says.
Throughout the cooking demonstration, Tetsuya’s fondness of induction cooktops was apparent. I totally want one now. They’re faster and more energy-efficient, and allows instant control of cooking energy similar to gas burners. Furthermore, the heat is evenly distributed, making it so effortless to cook scrambled eggs evenly.
- 4 eggs
- 1 - 2 tsp creamed corn
- 80ml cream
- 4 tsp grated parmesan cheese
- Pinch of salt & pepper
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 25g butter
- 100g ricotta cheese
- Chives to garnish
- Pinch truffle salt (optional)
- Crack four eggs into a bowl and cut the egg yolks with a fork, don’t whisk.
- Add 1-2 tsp creamed corn, cream and parmesan cheese. Season with salt.
- Heat the pan with olive oil and butter.
- Add eggs and gently stir with spatula.
- Once the eggs begin to scramble, remove them from the heat and add ricotta.
- Portion onto plates and garnish with chives. Season with truffle salt.
- Induction cooking is ideal for reaching and holding constant temperatures that require precise temperatures that will not fluctuate whilst cooking, enabling you to cook like a professional at home.
- Click the link to see Tetsuya’s how to video
With or without the aid of induction cooking, scrambled eggs with Tetsuya’s secret ingredients of creamed corn, ricotta and truffle salt is a definite winner for any time of the day!
For further information about Sticky Rice Cooking School, please visit www.stickyricecookingschool.com.au
For more information on Electrolux home appliances, please visit www.electrolux.com.au
Also see Easy Steak Recipe by Tetsuya
I Ate My Way Through travelled to Adelaide as a guest of Electrolux