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GE Welland Brilliant Factory ready to go this summer

About 220 jobs will be created to produce reciprocating gas engines and more

by Nathaniel Johnson

Parts should start rolling off the production line at GE’s Brilliant Factory in Welland this summer, as construction on the 450,000 sq. foot facility is progressing well, said Jenna LaPlante, GE Canada’s company’s director of communications and public affairs.

Construction on the multimodal manufacturing plant, on the west side of Highway 140 between Buchner Road and Silverthorn Street, began in 2016 and saw the creation of new turning lanes on the highway in 2017 to accommodate future traffic from the facility.

LaPlante said the company is on track with its hiring plan, which will see about 220 jobs created.

“We are currently staffed to support our first shift of production and looking to add additional technicians throughout the year to support our ramp up,” LaPlante said in an email.

Current employees, she said, are involved in assisting with the design and set up of the facility, and they are also participating in rigorous training and development programs to further develop manufacturing skills.

“As we continue to hire throughout the year, our job opportunities are posted on the GE Canada Careers page: www.ge.com/ca/en/careers.”

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GE Drone footage

With numerous construction trailers on site, LaPlante said the outside of the building will be finished in the upcoming weeks, followed by paving and green areas worked on.

Once up and running, the facility will initially manufacture GE Power’s reciprocating gas engines, components for compression, mechanical drive, and power generation.

“The new factory will be a place where we combine GE’s decades of experience building innovative industrial machines, lean manufacturing and optimal productivity processes, and advanced software analytics to operate leaner, faster and more efficiently,” LaPlante said in the email.

The multimodal design of the new plant also enables future production expansion for other GE global businesses.

She said the facility will see three-dimensional, model-based simulations run to allow GE to optimize its manufacturing process.

“By running real-time analytics on big machines, we can better analyze, predict and prevent unplanned downtime and increase throughput, thereby improving productivity.”

While GE has hired employees and will continue to hire more, it was part of a supplier day last year at Niagara College to develop new export opportunities for Canadian companies with expertise in reciprocating gas engine parts.

“This was a very successful day and an opportunity to meet with businesses throughout the region to help build GE’s supply chain for the new facility.”