GE plans $32m innovation and advanced manufacturing plant in the US
GE has announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility to drive innovation and implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies across the business.
The new facility represents a $32M investment over three years by the company and will result in the creation of 50 high-tech engineering jobs across a variety of disciplines.
The new facility cements GE’s commitment to developing a link between technology and manufacturing – marrying hardware with software. The company is a pioneer when it comes to developing new solutions for the global manufacturing sector.
Advanced Manufacturing is about making things better and faster for customers. It includes new digital fabrication technology, lean manufacturing methods and rapid-prototyping, advanced materials sciences, supply chain efficiency and open innovation. The facility will focus on improving capabilities and usage of additive manufacturing across GE while advancing materials sciences and inspection technologies.
Dan Heintzelman, GE vice chairman said, “Advanced manufacturing is driving a profound change in industry and at GE. It is how we will compete and win in the future. We can more efficiently invent and build products for our customers, while driving better margins for our investors. This new facility is crucial for bringing advanced manufacturing technology to all our businesses.”
The new facility will be opening in Pennsylvania, which is already home to more than 8,500 GE employees. The site will be located outside of Pittsburgh in Findlay Township, PA to capitalize on the renowned academic institutions and skilled workforce in the area. Construction is expected to begin in March 2015 to be completed by September 2015.
Governor Tom Corbett said, “By integrating education, workforce training and technology, we are cultivating a renaissance in Pennsylvania manufacturing. I am proud of the economic environment we have created to encourage global companies like GE to invest in our future and in our skilled and talented workers. The 50 high-tech jobs GE is creating with this project is terrific news for hard working families in southwest Pennsylvania.”
This facility represents another major GE investment in U.S. manufacturing technology.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.