GE Appliances, a Haier company, opened its $70 million state-of-the-art residential 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 an additional 88,000 jobs in the nation’s economy.
“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 are doubling down on innovation in high-tech products, cutting-edge, advanced manufacturing, and creating American jobs.”
The residential and light commercial market water heaters are not designed for the RV industry but GE Appliances has a history of adapting production for the RV market. GE Appliances’ entrance into the RV air conditioner market began with adaptations from its PTAC commercial hotel air conditioners.
The plant is vertically integrated and will produce water heaters from steel coils into high-quality residential 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,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “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.”