October 21, 2022
Schneider Electric has recently announced it will invest about $46 million in its Lexington, KY and Lincoln, NE manufacturing plants to modernize their operations and increase circuit breaker and related electrical product output for its customers in the U.S. and Canada. The new investment augments the more than $100 million the company earmarked in 2021 to expedite the reshoring of its manufacturing capability in the North American region which saw organic growth of +12.6% in fiscal year 2021.
The modernization efforts in the 65-year-old Lexington plant and 50-year-old Lincoln plant will include installing new equipment and machinery with the most current and connected technology and automation. The newer technology, coupled with using an architecture optimized for digitization, will help increase the plants’ quality and capacity and make their operations more energy efficient.
Further, these upgraded manufacturing facilities enabled by digitization and connectivity will improve operational efficiency and mean time between failures, or the average time between repairable failures of a technology product. Since the new, advanced equipment will be connected, employees will be able to monitor and adjust energy usage and perform online diagnostics and predictive maintenance tasks remotely.
“To keep pace with the near and long-term demand for our products and to plan for the future, we must invest in our supply chain capabilities,” said Ken Engel, senior vice president, Global Supply Chain, North America. “Our duty always, and particularly in the context of the current economic and energy environment, is to serve the needs of our customers and partners across our manufacturing and distribution network. These investments are proof of that commitment.”
In addition, company officials said:
- Construction of its El Paso, TX manufacturing plant is progressing on schedule. The 160,000 square foot plant is projected to be operational by the end of 2022. Hiring for select engineering positions has started, and additional hires will be made through early 2023. The plant will employ about 400 workers.
- Expansion of Schneider’s Tlaxcala, MX operation continues as the company seeks to meet demand for the circuit breakers and electrical panel boards produced there. The 150,000 square foot operation will employ about 600 workers and will provide the company with the capability to manufacture and ship products in-region should the need arise. The plant is expected to be operational in early 2023.
- Schneider will expand its manufacturing operation in Monterrey, MX with a 185,000 square foot manufacturing plant that will build and ship customized switchgear products used to transmit power most often in commercial buildings. The company expects to employ about 325 workers and begin shipping products before the end of 2023.
The Lexington, KY plant is recognized by the World Economic Forum as both an Advanced Lighthouse and a Sustainability Lighthouse for its adoption and use of 4IR technologies and for achieving sustainability and productivity breakthroughs, respectively. Schneider Electric was ranked No. 2 in the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2022. It recently ranked eighth on the 2022 Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production™ list by Fortune magazine.