GE’s Industrial Solutions business unit recently opened a new advanced manufacturing facility customer experience center in Mebane, N.C. The facility will be a manufacturing center of excellence for GE’s industrial equipment business and will manufacture and assemble low- and medium-voltage motor control centers, lighting panels, switchboards, power panels, controls, automatic transfer switches and electrical vehicle supply equipment serving a global customer base of commercial, industrial and mission-critical customers such as hospitals, data centers, banks and wind farms. It will utilize resources such as advanced and automated manufacturing techniques, 3-D printing and in-house product certification to improve the overall product development process.
The $6 million investment in the customer experience center and advanced manufacturing labs, will enable GE to accelerate product development by up to 30%, according to a company press release. The facility features approximately 360,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space, 11,500 square feet of advanced labs and 30,000 square feet of offices, showrooms and training facilities. In addition, the site will serve as a new regional customer experience center where customers will be invited to interact with GE’s latest electrical distribution, controls and critical power products and to share real-time feedback throughout the development process. The new facility includes:
Low- and Medium-Voltage IEEE Product Certification Lab. The lab will comply with IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and international equipment testing standards to gain third-party approvals, saving both time and costs in the development process. GE will be able to perform third-party certifications such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), TUV-GS testing (Technischer Überwachungsverein) and KEMA testing.
Product Accelerator Lab. This lab will help improve new product design processes, speeding up development times with 3-D printing and rapid prototyping. By incorporating GE’s FastWorks methodologies, the lab unites customers and engineering teams in an atmosphere that allows for fast, hands-on feedback throughout the development process.
Interactive, global product showroom. This is intended to engage customers in developing products and technology while learning about GE’s problem-solving commercial and industrial solutions.
Customer and Employee Learning Center. The center provides a resource for customers and employees to continue to learn about GE’s new product introductions, lean manufacturing and advanced processes.
“Mebane is one of our global centers of excellence for equipment, and I’m thrilled we’ve strengthened our technical capabilities in the U.S.,” said Stuart Thompson, power equipment general manager, GE’s Industrial Solutions business. “These investments will help us to bring electrical distribution, controls and mission-critical products to fruition faster with more agility, supporting GE’s mission of inventing the next industrial era.”