Chew's News

GE’s brilliant factory the new blueprint for manufacturing

Posted by Greg Chew on Aug 29, 2016 11:08:29 AM

GE Factory in Welland


The new GE factory set for development in Welland has been referred to in the media as a “brilliant factory” and now we know why. GE’s brilliant factory concept comes from a recent shift in how they make things. It involves how their new sensor embedded machines connect to an industrial internet, and utilize a software platform GE has development called Predix.   

Predix Software Platform

GE released a report last week, breaking down how this new factory in Welland may well “redefine how things are made in North America.” Predix streams data from the machines into a cloud application for analysis. GE’s engineers then send feedback and suggestions on how to improve operations back, this approach effectively creates a synergy between lab and factory and allows for “faster prototyping and commercialization of parts,” this is according to GE’s chief manufacturing scientist, Stephan Biller.


Data and analytics to transform manufacturing output

GE’s report dives deeper:

“ Biller is one of the big brains behind the concept. He’s developing ways to use data and analytics to transform factories into places that constantly improve their operations and output . As a result, Biller says, factories no longer need to be located where labor is cheap but can bloom where educated workers can make the most out of advanced technology. “By utilizing automation and the brilliant factory concepts, we are strengthening the base of North American manufacturing and equalizing the region’s ability to compete with countries where labor costs are cheaper,” Biller says." (source)


GE Factory in Welland, Ontario

GE gas engines Welland

The new factory in Welland will manufacture gas engines primarily but will also create other components for GE businesses. There was an updated job count in the article, as well, counting 220 highly skilled positions, up 70 positions from the initial announcement. This brilliant factory, resting on analytics and data, will set the blueprint for how factories can reduce inventory and shorten supply chains. It is modeled after the newly opened GE factories in Greenville, South Carolina and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This $165 million factory should be completed in 20 months, grounds broke last week. 


Information in this article was sourced from the following report. 

Connect with Greg Chew


Topics: Industrial development, Welland

Receive Reports From Greg Chew to Your Inbox

All blog entries on this site are the opinion of the author(s) and not those of Colliers International. Colliers International neither endorses sponsors nor necessary shares the opinions of the author(s), regardless of whether any blog is posted by any employee, officer, agent, or representative of Colliers International. Colliers International has not authorized or verified any statement of fact made in a blog, and any such statement does not constitute a statement of fact by Colliers International. Colliers International is not responsible for the monitoring or filtering of any blog, nor does Colliers International claim ownership of control over any blog.