Demand is up for GE Security, plants increase manufacturing

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Sunday, January 1, 2006

BRADENTON, Fla.--GE Security recently increased production at four of its factories around the world to keep up with demand for its video and intrusion security products.
Facilities in Hickory, N.C., Tualatin, Ore., Navojoa, Mexico, and Shanghai, China, increased output of products by approximately 20 percent, one of the largest factory capacity increases ever made by GE Security, according to Jim Paulson, GE Security general manager, commercial and residential solutions.
"It has improved delivery," said Paulson. "The ability to be able to get products to our installers in a more timely manner is key."
While part of the reason for the increase in manufacturing comes from consolidation--in 2005 the company relocated manufacturing from Costa Mesa, Calif., to Tualatin, Ore., and shifted jobs from Gladewater, Texas, to Navojoa, Mexico--double digit sales growth for GE Security's video and intrusion products also played a role.
In October, Paulson said the company had its best video sales month ever. Compared with the previous year, video product sales are up 12 percent, he said, with some of that increase thanks to the introduction of its Legend PTZ cameras and Digia line of digital video recorders.
Paulson also credited the company's strong video sales in the retail sector. "We've landed several large chain accounts that we're working with our integrators to fulfill," he said.
Sales for intrusion products, such as control panels and wireless products, increased 11 percent, said Paulson, when compared with numbers from the previous year.
At its facility in Hickory, N.C., where it makes cameras, access control products and fiber communication equipment, GE Security hired an additional 40 people to work in the 300-person factory. In Tualatin, Ore., manufacturer of digital video products, intrusion sensors and smoke detectors, the company hired approximately 35 new people for a facility that employs more than 300 people.
In Navojoa, Mexico, GE Security invested more than $1 million to purchase additional surface mount technology equipment. This equipment places components on circuit boards.
According to Chris Metcalf, general manager of manufacturing operations for network solutions for GE Security, the new SMT equipment increased output by up to 20 percent.
Metcalf expects the company will maintain its growth rate through 2006, and continue to hire additional people at some of its manufacturing facilities to keep up with demand.