General Electric (GE) has broken the ground at the site of what is set to become a powerful advanced manufacturing facility.
GE's Power & Water Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Greenville, South Carolina will significantly expand the company's advanced manufacturing capabilities, including its use of additive manufacturing technologies. The international company will be investing $400 million (£236 million, €296 million) in the facility over the next decade.
By developing new manufacturing technologies and by adopting new techniques, GE believes it will maximise its ability to design, iterate and bring its products to the marketplace faster than ever before.
The $400 million hub is said to be the first of its kind, acting as an incubator for innovation in manufacturing and rapid prototyping. GE Power & Water President and CEO Steve Bolze, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott, Senator Lindsey Graham and Greenville County Council Chairman Bob Taylor attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the site, which is set to open officially next year, creating more than 80 jobs.
GE has in excess of 3,000 employees in Greenville and since 2009, the company has invested some $500 million to bolster crucial manufacturing work carried out at the Power & Water campus. Bolze explained that expanding the facility is as much an exercise in furthering manufacturing technology as it is investing in South Carolina. The company began its operations in the area back in 1968 when it built its 340,000 sq ft manufacturing site. Today, the site has grown threefold and is home to GE's Power & Water Power Generation Products Engineering, Renewables Engineering and Chief Engineer's Office, serving GE's global customer base.
He continued: "The facility will serve as a cornerstone for generating prototypes of new components that will enable GE to launch new products and technologies that drive technical innovation to compete in high-growth markets. The advanced manufacturing techniques that are developed in South Carolina will increase product speed to market, benefiting our global customer base. GE’s innovation will power the world."
GE has established a major link with the local community, including forging important ties with local schools, universities and technical schemes in order to develop new technologies and to establish a network to support those who are passionate about growing along with the manufacturing industry.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley stated: "The Greenville community has a long standing relationship with GE, and it welcomes the new Power & Water Advanced Manufacturing Facility. Manufacturing innovation is integral to economic progression and I am delighted that South Carolina has the infrastructure and skilled workforce that enables GE to shape the future of work."
Chairman of the Greenville Area Development Corporation Dick Wilkerson added: "GE is a leader in the global manufacturing community and a major contributor to our region’s reputation as a hub for innovation, technology and advanced manufacturing as well. We salute their commitment to growing and advancing their presence here in Greenville County."