- Schneider Electric plans to invest $46 million in two manufacturing facilities to modernize operations and increase circuit breaker and related electrical product output, the energy management company announced Wednesday.
- The investments in a Lexington, Kentucky, and Lincoln, Nebraska, plant include the installation of new equipment and machinery that offer more connected technology and automation, in an effort to boost production capacity and energy efficiencies.
- The plan comes as Schneider Electric looks to increase its manufacturing capabilities in North America as it prepares for long-term demand, Ken Engel, senior vice president, global supply chain, North America, said in a statement.
Schneider Electric has invested tens of millions of dollars in recent years to bolster its domestic supply chain and operational capacity.
Last year, the company earmarked $100 million to strengthen its regional capabilities, according to a company statement, and announced plans to build three North America-based manufacturing sites. And in 2020, Schneider Electric unveiled a $40 million investment to strengthen its U.S. supply chain resiliency.
The upgrades are part of Schneider Electric's response to a global boom in the energy management industry, which was valued at $45.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to up to $153.6 billion by 2030, according to Precedence Research.
With its most recent investment, the company aims to modernize its 65-year-old Lexington plant and 50-year-old Lincoln plant. Schneider Electric plans to invest in new automatic assembly machines, stamping machines and molding machines, replacing machines that are up to 20 years old, Vice President Venancio Figueroa said in an email.
“We also want to remove obsolete equipment and replace it with newer technologies to achieve more efficiency in the production environment,” Figueroa said.
The company says the upgrades will improve operational efficiency and the average time between repairs for failures in its technological products. The modernization effort is slated for completion by the end of 2024, according to the vice president.
With the new equipment's more connected capabilities, workers should be able to monitor and adjust energy usage and perform online diagnostics and predictive maintenance tasks remotely, according to the news release.
Schneider Electric is also pressing forward with construction on an El Paso, Texas, production facility, slated to open by the end of the year. In Mexico, the company is continuing expansion of two facilities to meet demand for products including circuit breakers, electrical panel boards and switchgear products.
"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," Engel said in a statement. "These investments are proof of that commitment.