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GE Plant Tour: Shaping the Factory of the Future

Posted By David Brousell, November 15, 2016

Nearly 100 members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council gathered in Greenville, South Carolina last week to see first-hand how General Electric's 1.5-million square foot heavy duty gas turbine factory is embracing digitization, a transformational effort that involves an array of new technologies, significant process changes, and, above all, cultural change at the 48-year old site.

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ML Council members toured the gas turbine factory, where 50 and 60 Hz gas turbines undergo final assembly and testing, as well as GE’s two-year old Advanced Manufacturing Works incubator facility, whose mission is to be a “bridge” between new technology and production ideas, such as 3D printing and the factory floor. After the tours, a town hall-style roundtable was held where ML Council members described their own journeys to the factory of the future, including what their factory models might look like, what worker competencies and skills will be needed, and the increasing threat of cyber attacks.

What ML Council members saw during the GE tour was a factory in the process of transforming to achieve higher levels of operational efficiency and performance, which is symbolized in GE's "Brilliant Factory" concept.

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