One of the biggest priorities across the U.S. is the need to create and retain jobs — especially in high-tech sectors and in states disproportionately impacted by the financial crisis. Michigan is one such place where both are coming together in the form of GE’s new Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center, located just outside of Detroit.
In our last story about the center — which is slated to have over 1,100 employees by 2013 — there were over 200 senior IT professionals already on staff. Today, the center is bringing on technical talent at a rate of nearly two people per day and has hired nearly 550 new hires — with almost 90 percent of those coming from Michigan. The Center will eventually house the largest concentration of GE IT experts around the globe.
“The information technologists working at this center are helping GE develop innovative new software, processes and technologies to drive excellence in manufacturing for GE and its customers,” said Vic Bhagat, Managing Director, Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center, and CIO, GE Corporate. “From developing industry-specific monitoring and diagnostic tools like the company’s Transformer Monitoring mobile application that helps manage gas turbine inventory and electric transformers throughout the world, to business and product intelligence, data architecture and IT security, the team is creating innovative solutions that will accelerate the future of GE.”
The Center also includes researchers from GE Global Research, which is the technology development hub for all of GE’s businesses. They’re working on developing the next generation of manufacturing technologies to drive continued innovation in aircraft engines, renewable energy and other high tech areas.
As GE’s Doug Dinon wrote on the GE Global Research blog about the work that will be done at the center, his team’s goal is “to achieve manufacturing readiness for advanced technologies. Manufacturing readiness involves development of inspection, joining, assembly, and machining technologies that can meet the needs of new products. But it also implies the ability to prepare the support operations for execution in manufacturing.
“For many new products, the supply chain is significantly different than existing supply chains within host businesses. The same is true for quality methods, maintenance, finance, information technology, environmental health & safety, and sourcing,” he wrote.
He says the GE Global Research and Aviation team members will focus on three new manufacturing process technologies: a Ceramic Casting Program, a Spray Coatings Program, and a Composites Fiber Placement Program.
As GE Vice Chairman John Rice has said of the Michigan investment: “The exceptional number of talented, experienced professionals — coupled with the state’s strong advanced technology manufacturing capabilities — makes putting additional jobs here an easy decision. Growing jobs in Michigan means growth for GE.”
EVs on the way: In November, the site was also selected as one of two electric vehicle customer experience and learning centers aimed at provide customers, employees and researchers first-hand access to electric vehicles and developing technologies. In the coming year, the team will install GE WattStation EV chargers on campus to monitor and evaluate vehicle performance and charging behaviors, driver experiences and the integration between vehicles and the electric charging infrastructure.
More jobs for Michigan: With the expanded jobs commitment at the Center, GE is bringing its total Michigan employment to 3,500 across several facilities including those in Van Buren Township, Muskegon and Grand Rapids.
* Watch Apple’s video about the Center’s work on mobile apps
* See how the Center is using GE Jenbachers that run on landfill gas
* Visit the tech center’s website
* Watch a video about the tech center
* Listen to a podcast from Vic Bhagat, the center’s Site Leader
* Read Jeff Immelt’s announcement about the center on GE Reports
* Read “Building smart washers/dryers in KY to create 430 jobs” on GE Reports
* Read “American Renewal: Immelt addresses Detroit Econ Club” on GE Reports