CLARKSVILLE, TN—LG Electronics’ appliance assembly plant here has been named as a world-leading “Lighthouse Factory” by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The million-square-foot factory, which makes washers and dryers, is the first appliance assembly plant in the U.S. to earn such a designation. It also is the company’s second Lighthouse Factory. LG’s Smart Park factory in Changwon, South Korea, was selected by the WEF last year.

A “Lighthouse Factory” is recognized by the WEF for its role in shaping the future of manufacturing through the integration of Internet of Things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence (AI), robots and other Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. The WEF began the Lighthouse program in 2018.

LG’s factory in Tennessee utilizes a variety of advanced technologies, including AI, big data, IoT and robots. Completed at the end of 2018, the facility now operates three production lines for front-load and top-load washing machines and dryers. With an annual production capacity of 1.2 million washers and 600,000 dryers, the plant proactively responds to changing North American demand through local production. More than 900 people work at the factory.

Each line carries out the entire manufacturing process, from making the parts to assembly and packaging. The factory boasts a fully autonomous logistics system with 166 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that transport parts around the plant—three times more AGVs than LG’s Smart Park factory. 

By integrating parts production processes, such as stamping, molding and painting, the company has increased productivity by 21 percent.