Schneider Electric recently announced an additional $40-million investment toward modernizing its U.S. manufacturing plants in Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska and Texas through innovative technologies and new production lines that will help increase Schneider's capacity of operations in the U.S. for its customers, as well as further develop its local workforce.
COVID-19 placed a spotlight on the critical vulnerabilities global manufacturing and supply chains can face during unprecedented disruption. This additional stake in the U.S. is part of a larger, strategic approach to strengthen resilience, increase flexibility, and safeguard its supply chain. The initiative will provide Schneider Electric with greater control of its production processes that will help them deliver quality products and services to its customers, while introducing new learning opportunities to the workforce.
"This investment demonstrates our continued commitment to both our customers and our employees, while setting the foundation for the future," said Annette Clayton, CEO and president, Schneider Electric North America, in the press release. "We now have the technology and resources available to expand and efficiently produce more locally. By modernizing and localizing our operations, we can better serve our customers and minimize the risk of interruption when we face the challenges of global economic changes."
For example, Schneider's Lexington, KY-based smart factory recently earned the distinction of 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) Advanced Lighthouse by the World Economic Forum, which was the third Schneider factory to do so. It was recognized for its success in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies at scale, with demonstrated benefits around energy efficiency, sustainability and overall cost savings, while offering increased agility and resiliency within the operation.
Additionally, Schneider has hired and pledges to hire 130 new employees through early 2021. As they invest in smart manufacturing and automation tools, Schneider recognizes the opportunity to not only upskill the industrial workforce, but also attract new talent and address the industry's skill gap. As part of the investment, Schneider employees will receive more digital training opportunities and tools to enable them to adopt new skill sets and work more efficiently in a modern setting.