GE, UofL open FirstBuild microfactory, appliance development lab - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

GE, UofL open FirstBuild microfactory, appliance development lab

(Source: Gordon Boyd, WAVE 3 News) (Source: Gordon Boyd, WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Barely three months after General Electric and the University of Louisville announced that a vacant warehouse would house an innovative microfactory for research and development, FirstBuild is open.

Its first four products are almost ready for market. They include a "Smart Pitcher" that stores a water dispenser inside a refrigerator's fresh-food compartment, and a dual oven whose door makes it easier to remove cooked items without reaching inside the oven itself.

[PREVIOUS STORY: GE FirstBuild micro-factory to be housed on UofL campus]

"Online and local community members can design products and help solve engineering challenges that will fast-track community driven innovation to market," reads a news release announcing the opening.

Partners General Electric and Local Motors took UofL and community leaders on a guided tour. They demonstrated how the microfactory will develop ideas and determine whether they have commercial value.

Officials avoided any public mention or speculation as to whether GE had found a buyer for its Appliances Division, as has been speculated in business publications for more than two weeks. General Electric has invested more than $700 million to upgrade its Louisville production facilities at Appliance Park, adding more than 2,000 jobs.

Coming up on WAVE 3 News at 5:00, we'll take you on a short tour of the microfactory. At 6:00, we'll put those questions concerning Appliance Park's future to leaders of GE and the UofL.

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