GE record production

Decatur’s GE Appliances plant had record production in 2020 and 2021 and is expecting another record year in 2022 after a 2020 expansion increased its capacity and allowed it to hire hundreds of new employees.

According to Leifje Dighton, executive director of the Decatur plant since March, the top-freezer refrigerator plant in 2020 completed a $125 million expansion which boosted production capacity by 25%.

“The investment came just in time as people were beginning to stay at home because of the pandemic and needed refrigerators and other appliances,” Dighton said. “We had a record production in 2020 with our second highest year in 2021. While the appliance industry is down this year, Decatur is on track to have another strong year with production at similar levels to 2020 and 2021.”The 2020 expansion included adding 40,000 square feet to the plant. Dighton said the extra space has been beneficial.The expansion investment allowed the plant to add 255 jobs. The plant now employs 1,500 people after adding a third shift.

“We are the largest single-site employer in this county,” Dighton said.

The expansion allowed the plant to produce two new models, the 19- and 22-cubic-foot refrigerators, in addition to the 16-, 17- and 18-cubic-foot models it already produced.We introduced a new refrigerant to our products, too, that from a greenhouse emissions standpoint was much better. We did it earlier than the industry was going to expect it,” Dighton said.

Wood said the Decatur plant sells in all 50 states and sells some products in Canada.

“We sell to national retailers such as Lowe’s, The Home Depot and Best Buy as well as independent appliance dealers, home builders and property management companies,” she said.

Dighton said GE Appliances, a 100-year-old manufacturer, is part of the largest appliance company in the world and GE appliances are in half of the homes in the U.S. In 2016, GE Appliances was acquired by the Haier Group

Samsung’s connected home app to power 13 home appliance brands

Samsung Electronics’ integrated home appliances solution SmartThings is poised to be applied to Samsung plus 12 other major white goods brands by the first half of 2023, the company said Wednesday.

This comes as Samsung’s SmartThings is to make consumer electronics goods and mobile apps interoperable under the standard provided by the 13-member Home Connectivity Alliance, through an update of Samsung’s smart home solution next year.

The update will allow users of 13 HCA member brands — including Samsung, Arceik, LG Electronics, Electrolux Group, Haier, GE Appliances and Trane Technologies — to control more than 40 functions in 15 white goods categories designed for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and entertainment.

SmartThings will also be able to connect 300 brands of third-party devices more to build a smart home ecosystem, considering SmartThings system’s scalability, according to Samsung.

This will enable not only the interconnectivity of non-Samsung devices achieved at the level on par with that of Samsung, but also the control of electronics devices of different brands in the home through a single app.

Samsung added that a demonstration attended by HCA member companies will take place from Friday to Monday during the IFA 2022 in Berlin. The demonstration will feature Samsung’s products, including the Bespoke Cube Air Purifier, Bespoke Jet Bot AI Plus, Bespoke Refrigerator and Neo QLED TV.

Samsung Electronics has been a founding member since the HCA’s establishment in 2021, and its executive holds a leadership position of the alliance. Choi Yoon-ho, head of product planning at the IoT Biz Group at Samsung Electronics, is serving as the HCA President and Board Chair.

So far, Samsung Electronics has more than 235 million registered users of SmartThings globally across over 105 million connected devices manufactured by Samsung.

SmartThings is provided by the eponymous company, acquired by Samsung Electronics in 2014.

LG JOINS HOME CONNECTIVITY ALLIANCE TO EXPAND THE FUTURE OF SMART HOME EXPERIENC

LG Electronics (LG) has been named to the Board of Directors of the Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA), an organization dedicated to delivering better smart home experiences through open collaboration and innovation

Founded in 2022 and comprising a number of smart home solution manufacturers, the alliance aims to provide a safe, secure and interoperable connected home ecosystem. In addition to LG, its membership includes about 13 global brands including Samsung, Arçelik, Electrolux, Haier, GE Appliances, and Trane Technologies. The alliance seeks to enable seamless compatibility of diverse devices and services from different brands through developing and implementing guidelines for Cloud-to-Cloud (C2C) interoperability.

As a board member of the alliance, LG will soon bring its customers the convenience of being able to control and monitor other alliance members’ smart home solutions from using the LG ThinQ app.