GE Consumer & Industrial
|Founded||Louisville, Kentucky, (incorporated January 2004 )|
|Headquarters||Louisville, Kentucky, USA|
Number of employees
|12,000 (2013 est.)|
GE Appliances & Lighting is a subsidiary of conglomerate General Electric and is one of the largest suppliers of appliances in the world. It was created in January 2004 when GE Consumer Products (founded in 1905) merged with GE Industrial Systems (founded in 1930). From 2010 to late 2014, GE Appliances & Lighting was a sub-business under GE Home & Business Solutions.
On 8 September 2014, General Electric agreed to sell GE Appliances & Lighting to the Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux for US$3.3 billion in cash. The Electrolux acquisition was the result of General Electric's nearly six-year-long plan to sell the Appliance & Lighting division that included negotiations with Electrolux and other firms, such as Samsung and LG. The deal will combine Electrolux's existing primary U.S. mainstream appliance brand, Frigidaire, with GE's stable of products, including the Monogram line of luxury appliances. As part of the deal, Electrolux agreed to continue using the G.E. Appliances brand names, such as the mainstream "GE" appliance marque, for a limited period, and also agreed to assume General Electric's 48.4% stake in Mabe, a Mexican appliance manufacturer.
The transaction — the largest ever for Electrolux, the second-largest consumer appliance manufacturer after Whirlpool — will nearly double Electrolux's business in North America (the market that represented nearly 29% of Electrolux's revenue in 2013). The deal, which is currently pending U.S. regulatory approval and carries a US$175 million termination fee clause if Electrolux is unable to complete the acquisition, is expected to close in 2015.
GE Appliance Park
Appliance Park production operations
In 1951 construction began in Louisville, Kentucky on Appliance Park, the 1,000-acre (400 ha) manufacturing facility that would eventually employ 25,000 full-time employees. At the start of the park, Appliance Park was a self-sufficient city that provided for its own needs, right down to mail handling (until recently, Appliance Park had its own post office, staffed by United States Postal Service employees, to handle the complex's high volume of mail). In fact, Appliance Park was such a large and self-sustaining facility that the Postal Service granted Appliance Park its own ZIP code, 40225, in 1952.
- Building 1 (AP1) was opened by late 1951 with washers and dryers being manufactured in the 10-acre (40,000 m2) building. AP1 was the location of the world's first non-government used computer that was stored in what is today the GE Industrial Data Center. In 1953, Appliance Park Buildings 2 through 6 were finished, beginning large-scale production at Appliance Park.
- Building 2 (AP2) made ranges and ovens until 2000, when GE moved production to Roper Corporation. Currently, AP2 houses operations to support AP3 and is the home of the GE Geospring high-efficiency water heater.
- Building 3 (AP3) currently makes dishwashers. Hotpoint, GE Profile, and GE Monogram models are all made here. AP3 makes up the largest percentage of Appliance Park employees, with over 1,000.
- Building 4 (AP4) utilizes empty space to support AP3's dishwasher operations and contains the Appliance Park's medical and fitness facilities. AP4 is also the Information Technology headquarters for GE Appliances & Lighting, housing a Platinum-LEED certified data center as of August 2011.[not in citation given]
- Building 5 (AP5) assembles refrigerators with parts made in other Appliance Park locations. Until the 1980s, AP5 was the largest building in terms of employees, production, and production space.
- Building 6 (AP6) contained air conditioner manufacturing operations until the division was sold in 1982. Since then, AP6 has been leased out to vendors and suppliers for GE and other companies. AP6 was also the new location for various GE electrical systems engineering teams that moved from that division's previous headquarters in Connecticut in 2005. It was destroyed by a 6-alarm fire on the morning of April 3, 2015.
Louisville Production Support operations
The remaining buildings at the Appliance Park are Production Support Operations (PSO), often called the "Back 40".
- Building 10 (AP10) is a 47-acre (190,000 m2) warehouse on Appliance Park's western side that is used as a distribution center for GE appliance products and those of others, such as Sears' Kenmore brand, that GE manufactures. Over three miles (5 km) of conveyors deliver completed products from the assembly lines to the warehouse for storage.
- Building 20 (AP2), known as the "Boiler House", is Appliance Park's main power facility; it was constructed in 1953 due to the high demand of electric power needed by Appliance Park, which could not be reliably provided by LG&E at the time Appliance Park was built.
- Building 21 (AP21) is the electrical substation that is powered from LG&E.
- Building 24 (AP24) is an industrial waste treatment plant that treats all of the solid waste from Appliance Park.
- Building 26 (AP26) houses central maintenance (MACO) along with Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) operations.
- Building 27 (AP27) is the mill water pump where GE's water supply and water runoff are processed. All water runoff from the 1,000-acre (400 ha) facility is sent to Building 27, where it is treated before water is allowed to trickle to the city reservoir. The stored water is used to supply water mains for GE's private water source, which can supply fire hydrants to supplement the domestic water supply if ever needed (for Appliance Park firefighting or other purposes).
- Building 28 (AP28), also known as "The Firehouse", is home to Appliance Park's contract firefighting and security fleet.
- Building 35 (AP35) houses the GE Consumer and Industrial Global Consumer Center. Much of GE Consumer and Industrial executive leadership resides in AP35. The Engineering and Research and Design divisions also reside in AP35. Further, AP35 has several conference rooms to talk to consumers and customers about how to redesign products and receive feedback from end users. In 2007, the 9,000 sq ft (840 m2) Monogram Experience Center opened to provide architects, designers, contractors and other home-industry professionals the opportunity to interact with appliances from the Monogram Collection.
- Building 90 (AP90) is home to the GE Consumer and Industrial Global Training Center.
GE utilized its own landfill on approximately 20 acres (8.1 ha) from 1953 to the mid-1980s, when the EPA started enforcing stricter policies for big companies and mandated that GE close Appliance Park's landfill.
In order to decrease operational expenses at Appliance Park, a recycling initiative was introduced in 2006. In addition to cutting costs, this initiative aims to make the site more environmentally friendly. Major waste streams include cardboard, wooden pallets, metals, electronics, and plastics. Waste office paper will be recycled through the Metro Louisville's "Office Paper Recycling Program". Proceeds will benefit BrightSide, a city beautification campaign initiated by former Metro Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.
The Security Force, operated from Appliance Park's Building 28, patrols the park for safety hazards and consists of a 21-member, Kentucky state-certified EMT team providing basic, on-site emergency medical services that services Appliance Park and its employees year-round.
A "mammoth" fire occurred on the morning of April 3, 2015 at the Appliance Park. Building 6 (AP6) partially collapsed and was predicted to be a total loss. The 6-acre (24,000 m2) building, located at 4000 Buechel Bank Road, was mostly being used for storage, with portions leased to GE suppliers and logistics partners. More than 200 firefighters from 18 local agencies were involved in fighting the six-alarm fire, which led to a production halt and evacuation of the other buildings in the complex. No injuries or fatalities were reported, but "shelter in place" orders were issued for homes and businesses within a 2-mile (3.2 km) radius (later reduced to a one-half mile radius) of the Appliance Park due to noxious and acrid smoke. No hazardous materials were known to be stored at the site. Because of the huge volume of smoke, gases and runoff from burning plastics and other materials the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection and USEPA were called in to monitor emissions from the fire and found they were not toxic. However, area residents reported leaf-size pieces of ash and burned insulation materials in their yards. The cause of the fire remained unclear; a local fire chief said that investigators were leaning toward a lightning strike as the probable cause.
The fire was contained, but not extinguished, by the early afternoon of April 3. A statement issued by GE later that day indicated that production at the complex would remain halted over the weekend and at least through the end of the following week as the company conducted "a thorough evaluation of all other buildings" and replenished inventories of parts destroyed by the fire. The shelter-in-place order was canceled for residents within one-half mile of the site the following Sunday, April 5.
- Lyane, Rachel (January 4, 2010). "GE Establishes New Division for Appliances, Lighting (Update1)". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
- Bray, Chad (September 8, 2014). "In 2nd Try, Electrolux Reaches Deal to Buy G.E. Appliances Unit, for $3.3 Billion". DealBook (The New York Times). Retrieved April 15, 2015.
- "Calculating the Future: GE Unveils Platinum LEED®-Certified Data Center — a Sustainable Investment Supporting Global Business Growth". GE Newsroom (Press release). GE. August 18, 2011. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014.
- "6-alarm fire at GE's Appliance Park contained; shelter in place ordered". WHAS-TV. April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
- "New Monogram Experience Center Offers Something Extraordinary for all the Senses". GE Consumer & Industrial Press Room (Press release). Archived from the original on July 17, 2006. Note: the press release does not have a date associated with it.
- Olsen, Karan; Botelho, Greg (April 3, 2015). "Fire engulfs GE industrial park in Louisville, Kentucky". CNN. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
- "GE fire expected to burn for several days". WLKY. April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- "Fire destroys storage building at GE's Appliance Park; 2nd and 3rd shifts canceled". WDRB. April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- "Neighbors within 2 miles of GE fire ordered to remain indoors". WAVE-TV. April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- "No hazardous materials in fire, smoke". Louisville Courier-Journal. April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- "Shelter in place advisory has been lifted for residences surrounding GE". WLKY. April 5, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2015.