LOUISVILLE, KY -- (September 27, 2023) -- GE Appliances, a Haier company, welcomed state government officials and other community leaders to see two new dishwasher manufacturing lines that complete the $450 million transformation and investment announced in late 2021 for Appliance Park, the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. Three of the Park’s five major plants have received significant upgrades over the past two years with new topload washer models and four-door refrigerators added as well as new assembly lines and fabrication equipment. The dishwasher expansion alone positions the plant to be the largest plant of its kind in the U.S.
“We are committed to U.S. manufacturing and Louisville, Kentucky,” said Kevin Nolan, president and CEO of GE Appliances. “From design to production, our team is always finding a better way to bring the latest appliance technology to homes and families across America. Together, with our state and local partners, we are building a stronger state economy and community.”
Since 2016, GE Appliances has invested more than $2 billion in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations and created more than 4,000 new jobs. The 2022 economic impact analysis released by the company earlier this year reported that GE Appliances’ investments, supplier base, customers and payroll contributed $7.46 billion to Kentucky’s GDP last year. More than $517 million is spent by GE Appliances annually with more than 640 Kentucky suppliers.
“Manufacturing will always be a key industry within Kentucky’s economy and plays a vital role in Louisville and throughout the state, employing over 250,000 Kentuckians,” said Gov. Beshear. “The culmination of this incredible investment by GE Appliances will not only create thousands of job opportunities, but will further strengthen the commonwealth’s manufacturing sector and booming economy. With Manufacturing Month kicking off next week, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than being here today and celebrating GE Appliances and their expansion at Appliance Park. I want to congratulate the Louisville community on this important investment and thank the leaders at Haier and GE Appliances for their commitment to the commonwealth.”
“Louisville has an international reputation as a leader in advanced manufacturing because of great companies like GE Appliances that continue to invest in our city. GE Appliances' corporate investment comes in various forms, including major capital improvements that grow our economy, its industry-leading FirstBuild partnership, and the thousands of hours that GE Appliances employees spend volunteering across our community each year,” said Mayor Craig Greenberg. “Louisville is the proud home of such an innovative company, and we thank Kevin Nolan and the entire GE Appliances team for their continued commitment to Louisville!”
Vertical integration improves supply chain resiliency
GE Appliances’ manufacturing facilities, like the featured dishwasher plant, are vertically integrated starting from rolls of coiled steel. New fabrication equipment produces millions of tubs, doors, racks and other components made onsite. The plant produces five brands of dishwashers on the new lines. A key product success is the recently launched GE Profile™ UltraFresh System™ Dishwasher with Microban® Antimicrobial Technology, which is being added to other models produced at the plant.
Throughout the product development and manufacturing processes, new digital tools such as 3D scanning, the implementation of automated guided vehicles and control tower technology are driving end-to-end visibility of inbound parts and parts flowing through the plant and improving problem solving, craftsmanship and quality.
The product design team developed a dishwasher innovation and digital breakthrough called Smart Assist, which is powered by the company’s SmartHQ app. This industry-leading, diagnostic feature uses real-time machine learning and AI to ensure optimal performance comparing the latest dishwasher cycle with millions of other cycles. Additionally, the Smart Assist feature empowers consumers with easy tips and tricks to prevent or resolve issues on their own. For example:
- If someone forgets to turn on the water in a new installation, the app will tell consumers to be sure to check if the water is turned on under their sink along with helpful video content to quickly make the fix.
- It can alert the consumer if there is a potential clog in the drain to check the air gap on top of the sink.
- It can also give helpful use and care information based on actual cycles letting consumers know when the filter needs to be changed.
A focus on the employee experience
Another area of focus throughout Appliance Park is improving the work experience for employees. The new dishwasher manufacturing lines were designed with experienced production employee input and 3D scanning technology to ensure the jobs and workstations are ergonomically friendly for employees. New, fixed robots and automated guided vehicles are handling heavy work and reducing traffic in crowded aisleways allowing for problem solving and upskilled jobs to manage the modern technology. Four filtration and cooling towers and a new employee cafeteria have been incorporated into the plant footprint to improve the employee experience.