A new $6 million customer showroom and advanced manufacturing labs at GE's plant in Mebane is designed to enable the company to collaborate with customers and get products to market faster.
This week GE Industrial Solutions celebrated the grand opening of its customer showroom — it calls it a customer experience center — and renovated factory space at its 400,000-square-foot facility in Mebane.
“We are investing here in North Carolina, we are investing in the greater Raleigh-Durham area,” said Stuart Thompson, general manager for power equipment. “We're here for the long-term.”
Today GE has more than 500 employees in Mebane. Over the last 18 months it has added about 60 employees, Thompson said.
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The Mebane plant produces lighting panels, power panels, switchboards, electric vehicle charging stations and automatic transfer switches, which enable switching to backup power in emergency situation. The plant only recently started making automatic transfer switches.
In addition to showing off its new technology at its showroom, GE plans to use the center to solicit customer feedback and "make them part of the design process," Thompson said.
Built into the showroom, said Thompson, is the ability to simulate the customer's electrical infrastructure and demonstrate how the GE equipment would benefit them, Thompson said.
The new advanced manufacturing lab features 3-D printing to rapidly create a prototype to a customer's specifications.
GE has about 4,800 employees across North Carolina, including a GE Aviation assembly plant in Durham.