LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NEWS RELEASE) – GE announced they are opening a first micro-factory, FirstBuild™, in Louisville, Ky. This follows the March 13announcement that GE is partnering with Local Motors, the open-source hardware innovator, to create a new model for the manufacturing industry.
The new FirstBuild micro-factory will be located on the University of Louisville Belknap Campus and will officially open this summer. It will harness the power of an open platform and a global co-creation community to power micro-manufacturing capabilities to accelerate the introduction of the products consumers want, when they want them. The location will also enable easy access for engineering, advanced manufacturing and other student activities to build a strong local network of on-site community members.
“To win in the appliance industry we have to innovate faster than ever before since we are now competing with companies that apply their rapid electronics products introduction strategy to the appliance industry,” said Kevin Nolan, GE Appliances’ Vice President of Technology. “This new model will enable us to be more creative in the design and delivery of the products and do so with lower risk and cost while drastically reducing the time from mind to market. FirstBuild will also enable us to move select products to larger scale production with more confidence because they will have been vetted by the new platform first.”
The new FirstBuild community will focus on the future of cooking as its first set of projects. It will provide a platform for a global community of innovators to prototype, iterate and refine existing GE products, as well as surface new designs. Local community members will be encouraged to work alongside FirstBuild employees to bring the community designs to life at the East Brandeis Avenue micro-factory location. To learn more sign up at, www.firstbuild.com.
“The University of Louisville is excited to be expanding our collaboration with GE,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “Together, we’re finding new ways to grow technologies and our economy while giving our students real-world engineering experiences.”
FirstBuild employees and on-site community members will use social media tools daily to keep community members around the world appraised of the progress being made at the facility on the designs they helped to create.