GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, has officially opened its $70 million water heating manufacturing plant in Camden, South Carolina. The site will serve as the company’s Center of Excellence for water heater manufacturing and was built for future expansion. Since 2016, GE Appliances has invested $2 billion in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations, adding more than 3,000 new employees and creating 88,000 jobs.
“Investing in U.S. manufacturing is a winning strategy for GE Appliances, bringing us even closer to our customers and enabling us to serve them better,” said Kevin Nolan, president and CEO for GE Appliances. “We’re doubling down on innovation in high-tech products, cutting-edge, advanced manufacturing, and creating American jobs.”
The plant is vertically integrated and will produce units starting from coils of steel into water heaters. The new plant includes advanced systems for metal fabrication and welding, robotics for material handling and processing, and enameling of the steel. During the construction and in preparation for launch, more than 50 team leaders and maintenance employees completed more than 5,700 hours of training in robotics, welding and mechatronics at nearby Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC). The plant will initially employ 140 people.
“We are proud that Kershaw County is home to GE Appliances’ new Manufacturing Center of Excellence for water heaters. The fact that they chose South Carolina for this state-of-the-art facility is a testament to our state’s infrastructure and skilled workforce that allows companies to find success,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “We thank GE Appliances for their commitment to South Carolina, and we look forward to continuing our longstanding business partnership for many more years to come.”
Sold under the GE brand, the RealMAX™ gas water heaters are described as the only water heater that holds a true 50 gallons of water, delivering 87 gallons of hot water in the first hour. They will also come with a 12-year warranty.
In 2020, GE Appliances announced the launch of Air & Water Solutions, a channel dedicated to serving the unique needs of professional contractors and wholesale distributors in the plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry. Air & Water Solutions combines GEA’s portfolio of products with a dedicated team of sales professionals, training centers, and support resources for professional contractors.