GE Appliances to make more plastics parts in Louisville, Ky.

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: August 6, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Injection Molding

LOUISVILLE, KY. (Aug. 6, 9:30 p.m. ET) — GE Appliances  is signaling a big change in plastics parts sourcing in an expansion of its Louisville appliance products operation.

The firm said Aug. 6 that it will make more than 90 additional plastic parts and components for its dishwasher production expansion in Louisville. In-house dishwasher rack production will increase from 40 percent to 100 percent in Louisville’s dishwasher factory. As well, GE will expand inhouse production of metal components and back out overseas imports.

The inhouse sourcing program will make GE’s plastic injection molding facility at Appliance Park the largest such facility in Kentucky and the fourth largest in the United States, GE claims. In total, about 85 percent of the parts in the new dishwashers will be made in the United States.

Production for the first phase of a $150 million investment in the new dishwasher lines has begun. The project is part of an $800 million investment GE will have made at Appliance Park by 2014.

GE started the new Louisville in-house sourcing program in a modest scale in late 2011, according to a report in Business First. The program began with a 12-employee operation costing $2 million to start changing the way GE sources plastic parts in Louisville. The first components off the six new injection presses were plastic control panels for dishwashers made in Louisville. The molding operation included robots and other auxiliary equipment.

“To be competitive, we have to look for every opportunity to improve efficiencies and productivity while increasing quality,” noted GE Appliances product general manager for dishwashers, Cynthia Fanning. “Lean manufacturing principles have improved every aspect of our processes.”

GE reduced the size of the new dishwasher lines by more than 50 percent in the space-constrained factory. Repositioning the new lines cut transportation time within the plant. Workers’ input helped design work stations and processes, improving ergonomics, efficiency and quality. Production time per unit was cut by 65 percent.

The new dishwashers feature increased capacity and other innovations designed to encourage consumers to replace their older appliances with the new generation or to start a household with dishwashers offered by GE.

Other appliance majors do some inhouse plastics processing but GE seems ready to take that strategy to a new level.  Electrolux Group’s large refrigerator plant in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is one facility that  molds, forms and foams a large volume of plastics.

GE is spending $1 billion to upgrade all its product lines and create new plants for products not previously made in the United States. These products include its GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater plant in Louisville, and production of bottom-freezer refrigerators and front-loading clothes washing machines. The company said it plans to open a new plant to make front-loading washers and matching dryers in early 2013.

GE has hired more than 1,000 production workers and nearly 500 engineers since planning the made-in-the-USA push in 2009.


Comments

GE Appliances to make more plastics parts in Louisville, Ky.

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: August 6, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

VisiPak adds to customer mix, product offerings with Tulox acquisition

March 5, 2015 2:19 pm ET

VisiPak has acquired Tulox Plastics Corp., a maker of clear plastic packaging.    More

Image

ResTech companies renamed Plastics Molding Manufacturing

March 5, 2015 3:54 pm ET

Plastics Molding Manufacturing Inc. is the new name for the ResTech Plastic Molding LLC family of companies.    More

Image

Auto supplier Motus adds more production as it buys Leon Interiors

March 5, 2015 10:52 am ET

Motus Integrated Technologies, a Tier 1 automotive interiors supplier, is getting bigger, adding the assets of Tier 2 supplier Leon Interiors Inc.    More

Image

PET makes it possible to have your beer and be sustainable too

March 5, 2015 10:45 am ET

PET could replace stainless steel beer kegs in a material swap product developers say will be more environmentally friendly and cost effective for...    More

Image

Mold maker Moldworx building in Arizona to bring in more molding

March 5, 2015 10:13 am ET

Moldworx LLC has begun leasing more space in Gilbert, Ariz., to allow it to grow its injection molding business.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events