Simplex-Turbulo tour of Parker Kittiwake factory

Visit to the Parker Hannifin filter factory in Chomutov, Prague

By Natalie Grayson, Purchaser

Chomutov is a very quaint town with cobbled streets and lovely architecture. We spent a pleasant evening exploring when we arrived.

The following morning, we took a taxi first thing to Parker’s factory which lies a few minutes’ drive from the centre. The first thing which struck me was the branding; the enormous building features their distinctive yellow colour patterned on the outside, and most everywhere you look inside.

Filter element media production
Filter element media being created on the production line

The entrance foyer is spacious and welcoming, with a variety of products on display and a TV playing a film about the history of the company.

We were greeted by Michal Vafka who led us on rather a long walk to the other end of the site. To give an idea of scale, the factory covers 322,000 sqft and ships 6000 parts each day. We were shown into a meeting room to view a presentation on Parker’s history.

For me, one of the most impressive things we learned was that the area Chomutov is situated within has long suffered with high rates of unemployment. Due to the government offering favourable terms to new businesses, Parker and several other companies decided to open premises there. As a result, local unemployment is now down dramatically.

After the presentation, we were invited to watch the daily review meeting. Every morning, heads of each department gather around a series of large whiteboards to brief one another on what was achieved the day before, what short-and medium-term goals are in place and make any announcements. This seems like a very effective way to keep everyone up to speed and on top of various projects.

Once we had donned some very stylish toe-caps and goggles we were taken on a tour of the factory. The scale of the site is impressive, more so when it was mentioned that plans are underway to grow it further. The layout is efficient and uncluttered, spotlessly clean and meticulously organised.