LAFAYETTE, GA—GE Appliances, a Haier company, recently unveiled a revamped cooking products plant here that assembles ranges and ovens. The 50-year-old facility is operated by its Roper Corp. subsidiary.
GE Appliances invested $118 million to transform the assembly plant with cutting-edge automation. The investment includes new assembly lines, metal stamping presses and robots.
State-of-the-art advanced manufacturing technology at the plant features autonomous mobile robots from Fetch Robotics Inc. and six-axis robots from ABB Robotics that assemble glass cooktops, program control boards, and rotate the units to give operators ease of access during final assembly. The investment more than tripled the robotics used at Roper, improving efficiency and ergonomics for employees, all while adding 600 new jobs.
“We put employees at the center of all we do,” says Luther Ingram, president and executive director of Roper Corp. “New generations are entering the workforce and people’s wants and needs are changing. From offering part-time flexible work schedules to our new three-day weekend schedule to providing thousands of dollars of tuition reimbursement, we are removing barriers and creating an environment where people can grow and achieve their American Dream.”
According to Ingram, investments in robotics and digitization are creating new career pathways and opportunities to upskill the LaFayette plant’s workforce. The facility recently secured grant money from the state of Georgia to fund an apprenticeship in partnership with Georgia Northwestern Technical College. The grant will enable 45 employees to learn about robotics technology.