It’s an attempt to bring together the best features of three different countries. When General Electric decided to open an experimental factory a few years ago, its first step was to send some of its managers to a seminar on the Japanese Kaizen philosophy. Elissa Lee, an American, was eventually chosen to run the new plant. Her job is to optimize speed and efficiency.
When selecting the site, however, G.E. decided against both Japan and its homeland the United StatesInstead, the plant is unmistakably in the southern German state of Bavaria. Employees have even hung a photo of a dachshund on one of the robots.
General Electric decided back in 2007 that Germany would be the best place for a completely new process to develop and manufacture extremely lightweight low-pressure turbine blades for aircraft engines.
Germany offers superior engineering skills and automation expertise, and besides, the technology was originally developed in Bavaria, Ms. Lee explained. That’s why G.E. rented a building in the picturesque Bavarian city of Regensburg and invested a double-digit million-euro sum. The first blades made of titanium aluminide were delivered in 2013 and have been in use in Lufthansa’s Boeing 747–8 aircraft since April 2014.