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GE breaks ground in Welland for new “Brilliant Factory”

The 450,000 square-foot plant will streamline production using data, analytics and software.


August 30, 2016
by PLANT STAFF

WELLAND, Ont. — GE’s Distributed Power business broke ground for its first “brilliant” factory in Canada Aug. 26, a multi-modal plant in Welland, Ont. that will combine digital technology and lean manufacturing to produce power generation machinery for global markets.

The global industrial company founded by Thomas Edison is spending US$165 million on the first phase of the project. The state-of-the-art “Brilliant Factory” will optimize efficiency and streamline production using data, analytics and software. The full investment is estimated to be about $240 million.

The project is to create 220 jobs when the 450,000 square-foot plant is fully operational in 2018, said Scott Parent, senior general manager technology and operations for GE’s Distributed Power business. “[The plant] should be producing by early 2018 and at full load by the end of 2018.”

The plant, on a property that runs one kilometre in length, will manufacture GE Power’s reciprocating gas engines; components for compression, mechanical drive, and power generation; and components for GE transportation diesel engines, but the multi-modal design will also accommodate future production expansion for other GE global businesses including power, oil and gas and transportation.

Parent said production capacity would be about 500 engines a year.

GE is moving the work out of its Waukesha, Wisc. plant, which currently employs 350 people. Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO GE Water and Distributed Power Business, said during a roundtable at the Welland site the company would maintain R&D and engineering in Waukesha.

“[Welland] will run three-dimensional machining simulations for CNC programs, gain real-time analytics to better understand the operating conditions of a machine or a test cell, install lights-out machining, and combine all with advanced lean manufacturing practices,” he said in a release.

The move to Canada was in part because of the help provided by Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s export credit agency, and the absence of an export credit agency in the US.

GE to build $265M gas engine plant in Canada

Welland’s proximity to four US border points, the Welland Canal’s access to seaports via the St. Lawrence Seaway and a local, educated workforce were also cited as points in the city’s favour.

The Ontario government provided a conditional grant of almost $26.6 million through its Jobs and Prosperity Fund.

Premier Kathleen Wynne, among a contingent of federal, provincial, regional and local politicians on hand for the event, also noted providing a single point of contact that handled matters between the company and the various levels of government was key to GE selecting Welland for the investment.

She announced the province would be launching a Strategic Investment Office in the fall that will provide the same services to companies looking to invest in the province.

6 Comments » for GE breaks ground in Welland for new “Brilliant Factory”
  1. Adriana says:

    I only wanted to know how to apply for a senior electric controls engineer, with experience and being excited for a position in this plant. I live in St Catherine and work not too far but I would very much enjoy a new ground up facility of this “brilliant factory”.
    My question is if the hiring process started and how to apply for this?

  2. Richard Andress says:

    I to am very interested in finding out how to apply for a position in this new facility. I am an experienced CNC machine operator with programming experience. I also have been working in the manufacturing sector for over 20 years, “though not for the past 7” and would love to return to my roots.
    Please advise!

  3. My shop in Mississauga supplied machined components to G.E. in Oshkosh Wisconsin for many years until they moved their operations to Texas. I would like to make contact with Procurement and re-establish a working relationship. We have the equipment and the skilled workforce to machine GE’s components. I would appreciate being contacted by a senior buyer by email.

  4. Christina says:

    I have been searching an contact Job gym an Erie Personnel. Job gym did give my a web site but not been able to apply for position for GE plant.
    Please if any info contact me chrissyo@bell.net

  5. Jeff Fontaine says:

    How can I apply for a job in new welland plant? Thanks

  6. I am trying to reach Mr. John Macaulay. I actually do work for GE thru a subsidiary company for them in a different leg of GE.
    We specialize in shrink wrapping machinery for over seas or across country. If you read this John please reach out to me. My contact is in the form below and LinkedIn. Thankyou

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