GE Aims To Simplify Appliance Manufacturing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- General Electric is trying to simplify as it prepares to develop its first new product line at Louisville's Appliance Park in a half-century.

Employees are being pulled from their regular workstations to examine foam models of the GeoSpring hybrid water heater now produced in China. They pull it apart so they can see how it will come together when production moves to Louisville next year.

GE officials say it’s a new approach to manufacturing for the company. GE Appliances manufacturing leader Dirk Bowman told The Courier-Journal that it is "a radical departure" from past procedures.

GE's Japanese consultants call it "Kaizen," meaning "continuous improvement." The purpose is to simplify manufacturing and make U.S. production swifter and more economical.

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