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

Jarden hiring for new plastics plant

December 19, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Consumer products conglomerate Jarden Corp. is hiring plastics technicians for a new operation in Erlanger, Ky.    More

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Indian auto parts maker set to buy assets in Germany, Mexico

December 18, 2014 10:35 am ET

Indian auto parts maker Samvardhana Motherson Gropup is buying the assets of insolvent German plastics car parts producer Scherer & Trier (S&T).    More

Image

Shipping slowdowns add to season's stress

December 16, 2014 4:02 pm ET

Toy companies know what they want for Christmas: an end to crippling shipping delays at West Coast ports.    More

Image

Milacron opening Mexico technical center, considers another in Brazil

December 16, 2014 12:58 pm ET

Milacron LLC plans to officially open a new technical center in Querétaro, 140 miles northwest of Mexico City, early in 2015, and the company is consi...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

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

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

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events