Further solidifying its commitment to expanding and enhancing its electrical distribution equipment capabilities and offerings, GE’s Industrial Solutions business (NYSE: GE) today announced it is investing $7.4 million in its West Burlington, Iowa, manufacturing facility and creating 120 new jobs. The investment will be used to expand GE’s medium-voltage product development and production in North America. The announcement was made today at an on-site ceremony for GE employees and state and local government officials.
“This year, we have focused our efforts and investments on revitalizing our medium-voltage portfolio and establishing reliable, efficient solutions to help our customers better protect and control electrical equipment in their commercial, industrial and utility applications,” said Stephanie Mains, CEO of GE’s Industrial Solutions business. “This latest investment in our West Burlington facility enables us to enhance our manufacturing center of excellence and to better serve our global customers.”
Once the new ANSI/IEEE medium-voltage switchgear production line is added, GE’s West Burlington facility will manufacture a full range of medium-voltage solutions including arc-resistant, air-insulated switchgear for new installations and retrofit applications. Designed with the operator in mind, these fully tested, medium-voltage products have been developed with fewer parts to simplify installation and upkeep. GE will use advanced manufacturing processes to improve product quality and durability, and to ensure its products are made with speed and agility, which will shorten customer lead times.
“Iowa is proud to welcome GE’s expansion and investment in West Burlington,” said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. “The creation of 120 new jobs and the investment of over $7 million are testaments to the customer demand for the products you make. We are honored to have you in Iowa.”
This investment comes on the heels of a $1.3 million investment that GE made in its West Burlington facility last year to upgrade its manufacturing capabilities. Today’s announced investment enables GE to add new production machines, test equipment and work stations for its employees — all of which will help create a leaner, more efficient manufacturing process. With these new features and equipment, the West Burlington facility will evolve to more than just a manufacturing location; it will become a place where customers can interact with GE’s dedicated team of professionals and where they can experience, first hand, factory acceptance testing.
“With our enhanced West Burlington facility and our deep domain expertise in innovative engineering and advanced manufacturing, we will be able to equip our customers with the solutions they require to solve their toughest electrical infrastructure challenges,” said Stuart Thompson, general manager of Power Equipment for GE’s Industrial Solutions business. “Investing in a North American medium-voltage manufacturing facility enables us to expand our portfolio and deliver our solutions faster and more efficiently to our customers.”
The medium-voltage electrical equipment that will be manufactured at this facility can be found in a wide array of commercial and industrial applications. For example, medium-voltage switchgear and circuit breakers are commonplace in mission-critical facilities such as hospitals, universities, commercial office buildings and entertainment arenas, as well as in industrial applications including high-tech processing, oil and gas operations, water and wastewater facilities and utilities.
GE has more than 130 years of experience in the electrical distribution space and over 120 years of experience in developing medium-voltage equipment. It invented the world's first two-high, medium-voltage, metal-clad switchgear with vacuum interrupter circuit breaker technology (which dates back to 1976).