General Electric today opened its Advanced Manufacturing Works (AMW) center in South Carolina, which the company says is the “next step forward in GE’s journey as the world’s premiere digital industrial company.”
Earlier this month GE opened a $39 million hub for additive manufacturing — or 3D printing — near Pittsburgh.
The company says it has invested $73 million in the Greenville, South Carolina facility to date and will invest another $327 million across the GE Power Greenville campus over the next several years. The 125,000-square-foot facility broke ground in mid-2014.
The AMW is GE Power’s first advanced manufacturing facility. GE says it will serve as an incubator for the development of advanced manufacturing processes and rapid prototyping of new parts for GE’s energy businesses: power, renewable energy, oil and gas, and energy connections. In a statement, GE says “new techniques and production processes developed at the facility will bring new best-in-class products to global customers quicker than ever.”
The facility also includes environmental sustainability features, says GE Power’s Kurt Goodwin, general manager, advanced manufacturing works.
“We did an exhaustive study during the building design phase to minimize energy usage,” Goodwin told Environmental Leader. “Everything from building orientation, to use of low transmissibility glass, eyebrows to shade direct sun, GE’s ultra-efficient white LED industrial lights, and smart controls everywhere to shut down or minimize systems not in use. We used ganged UPS and cooling circuits enabled by individual controls for efficiency on a total site basis.”
Goodwin says there are also two electric car charging stations in front of the facility.
GE says advanced manufacturing technologies and innovations — new materials science, 3D printing and automation to advanced software platforms and robotics — are redefining manufacturing. It says studies show each job in an advanced manufacturing industry supports another 3.5 jobs through the supply chain.
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