Being a plant manager at a General Motors facility these days must be like being part of Oprah’s studio audience: you’re just waiting to see what surprise gift you’ll be getting.
The latest “winner” is the automaker’s Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant that will get a new $439 million paint shop. The project is part of a $5.4 billion plan to upgrade many the company’s plants across the country.
The plant is the automaker’s sole manufacturing point for its halo sports car, which has received $135 million in improvements during the last four years to produce the new Stingray and to create the Performance Build Center.
Construction of the new paint shop, which includes substantial technology upgrades, is planned to begin this summer and take approximately two years to complete. Corvette production will not be affected, officials said.
(GM investing $1 billion at its Tech Center outside Detroit. For more, Click Here.)
Along with new tooling and robots, the paint shop’s state-of-the-art environmental and efficiency enhancements include:
- Dry Scrubber Booth Technology with Limestone Handling System designed to eliminate sludge water and waste
- Light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting for process decks for improved visual inspection as well as energy savings
- State-of-the-art FANUC robots with Versa-bell 3 electrostatic applicators for an extremely smooth finish and maximum transfer efficiency, saving 25 percent of the paint material used, which also benefits the environment
- Longer, high-efficiency baking ovens for exceptional paint finish and lower energy use.
(Click Herefor details GM’s $174 million investment at its Fairfax plant.)
“With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come,” said North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. “These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”
The automaker announced its multi-billion facility investment plan in March and has wasted no time in doling out cash at facilities in Michigan, Kansas and now Kentucky. Last week, GM said it would invest $1 billion at its aging Tech Center in Warren, Michigan. It will be the first substantive upgrade of the site in 40 years.
(To see more about GM’s $5.4 billion investment plans, Click Here.)
GM also invested including $783.5 million in three facilities in the state of Michigan and the $174 million at its plant in Fairfax, Kansas.