Millions of Americans go online to look for a new job. Now GE is using the same technology that forms the backbone of the Internet to open new U.S. manufacturing jobs.
That technology is a massive new data center, which opened at GE’s Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky, last year. The data center provides GE plants with tremendous computing power that allows them to implement new information systems, boost efficiency and productivity, cut down costs, and make American manufacturing competitive.
The data center, which is operated by GE’s Appliances & Lighting division, is part of a $1 billion drive to bring new appliance lines to the U.S. and open 1,300 new jobs at GE plants in Louisville, Bloomington, Indiana, and Decatur, Alabama.
The new jobs and products that the center will support include GE’s innovative hybrid water heater, GeoSpring 2. Water heaters gobble up the largest amount of electricity in U.S. homes, after heating and cooling systems. However, GE engineers built an innovative heater that cuts energy usage by as much as 62 percent per year. This translates to annual savings of about $325 so that the heater will pay for itself in just a few years.
The engineers designed GeoSpring by combining technology from two products they knew well, the air conditioner and a standard water heater. A compressor and an evaporator capture the ambient heat surrounding unit, just like a window air conditioner would do. The machine then pumps the heat into coils surrounding the water tank and helps a separate electric heater to raise the water temperature.
The production GeoSpring 2 will launch at Appliance Park this year. Other innovative, energy-efficient products that GE will start manufacturing in the U.S. include a line of bottom-freezer refrigerators, which uses the cyclopentane foam as an insulator. The use of cyclopentane can cut a plant’s greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent. The refrigerator will be made in Louisville and create more that 400 new jobs.
The company will also launch the production of new dishwashers and front-load washers.
GE is committed to innovation that helps bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. James P. Campbell, former President and CEO of GE Appliances & Lighting stressed that “this type of investment would have been impossible without the tremendous work underway at these plants to drive down costs and improve productivity and efficiency.”
Charlene Begley, President and CEO of GE Home & Business Solutions, agreed. She said GE believed that “American workers can compete with any in the world.”