Citing growing demand for nondestructive-testing products, General Electric Co. said it plans to invest more than $10 million to expand its Inspection Technologies headquarters in Lewistown, Pa.
The expansion project will include a new global customer-applications center as well as a nondestructive-testing academy for GE employees and customers, the company noted.
GE's 82,000-square-foot facility employs more than 230 people in the production of NDT inspection tools used by companies in the oil and gas, power-generation, metals-manufacturing, automotive and aerospace sectors, according to the company.
The expansion, which will add 52,000 square feet of floor space, is scheduled to wrap up in 2012.
|Due to increased demand for products such as its remote visual-inspection equipment (pictured here), GE is expanding its Inspection Technologies site in Lewistown, Pa. |
"The expansion will enable GE to maintain its position as a leader in developing and manufacturing a wide range of remote visual-inspection, ultrasonic, electromagnetic, advanced radiography and computed tomography systems as well as data-management software," the company said in a news release.
The company is seeing increased demand for its inspection technologies in the areas of composites; weld inspections and corrosion monitoring for bridges, pipelines and other structures; and rotating machinery such as jet engines and wheels.
"For example, the growing use of composite materials by aerospace and wind-turbine-blade manufacturers is driving a demand for more advanced inspection solutions since the primary method for inspecting these composites is ultrasound," GE noted.
'The World's Toughest Inspection Challenges'
GE said the new customer-applications center will help "GE customers to help solve the world's toughest inspection challenges."
Currently GE hosts more than 200 customer visits a year at the site, a number that the company expects to increase with the larger space.
"The expansion project will allow us to expand our new-product development, manufacturing and training and create a world-class inspection-technologies headquarters that reflects our leadership presence in the NDT industry," said Jeff Anderson, senior executive, product management, for GE's Inspection Technologies business.
GE's planned NDT Academy will be used to train both GE employees and customers on GE's latest NDT tools, helping address a global shortage of well-trained NDT personnel, the company said.
The training academy also will offer partnership opportunities for local colleges and universities.
With the expansion, GE expects to hire 60 more people over the next three years, while the project will create more than 100 local construction jobs.
"This expansion project will be of great benefit to the central Pennsylvania region, as GE's Lewistown site currently spends more than $5 million per year with Pennsylvania suppliers, and we will invest millions of dollars in new-product development over the next few years," Anderson said.
The Lewistown site already has added more than 50 positions in 2011, most of them highly technical, GE noted.