GE’s (NYSE: GE) Industrial Solutions has opened an advanced manufacturing lab in Plainville, Connecticut. The lab is using robotics and automated manufacturing systems to design and build production lines for the new GuardEon molded case circuit breaker (MCCB) platform to be launched in 2015.
GE’s design, build, test, learn, modify and repeat rhythm with in-house human and capital resources dramatically increases options for timely proof-of-concept testing and ultimately, empowers delivery of better products for its customers much faster.
The lab will include some of the first Occupational Health and Safety Administration-approved advanced manufacturing robots, using smart-response movements to help safely and intelligently work directly alongside operators in a manufacturing environment.
The lab also features 4-by-6-foot “moonshine” tables outfitted with programmable logic controllers and pneumatics. The tables serve as experimental design pods for inventing enhanced manufacturing operations to meet strict TAKT times, a critical measurement linking production-cycle times to customer-demand rates.
GE engineers will also focus on building the best MCCB with the most advanced technologies that ensure safe and reliable power distribution for industrial, OEM and commercial customers.
The lab is GE’s second lab opening in Plainville in just over a year. In May 2013, the company launched the NPI Accelerator Lab, featuring a collaborative workspace with a machine shop, product teardown area and 3D printing prototype production and assembly capabilities, which enables GE engineers to design, develop and deliver new products in a timely manner. In addition, GE’s High Current Test Lab offers high-voltage capabilities for on-site, quick-cycle prototype testing, ensuring products’ robust design, superior performance and standards compliance from launch date.
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