Ontario pours funds into GE Brilliant Factory project
GE Canada is building a new Brilliant Factory with the financial assistance of Ontario, which will provide $20.5 million USD for the project.
The facility will manufacturer energy-efficient engines and parts, and production should begin in early 2018. This plant – the Welland plant – will be one of GE’s most advanced and the first such facility in Canada.
Ontario – and Canada more generally – is increasingly being viewed as a place of technological innovation and skill, and the generous grant is reflective of this faith.
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, said: “GE’s decision to invest in Welland sends a clear message that our province has a lot to offer. Our government will continue to strengthen Ontario’s reputation as a great place to invest, so we can bring more jobs and growth to communities across our province.”
The Welland plant will be 450,000 square feet in size and bring an ‘industrial internet of things’ approach to manufacturing. The plant’s equipment will be fully integrated and communicate with the most advanced sensors available.
The new project will create at least 220 jobs, enhancing Ontario’s appeal as a place for businesses to grow.
Vice-Chairman of GE, John Rice, stated: “The City of Welland becomes an important link in our global integrated network and the new future that we have charted for GE with the convergence of industrial and digital, and Canada has all the essential ingredients to succeed in this new digital industrial reality. Canada is a key partner to GE in seizing opportunities that contribute to domestic development, as well as export opportunities and global supply chain development, as we seek to meet the needs of our customers in 180 countries around the world.”
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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.