Samsung Ramping Up Production at New Newberry, South Carolina, Facility
In a June 2017 press release, Samsung Electronics North America announced it would expand its U.S. manufacturing footprint. According to the release, by 2020, the Newberry, South Carolina, facility will create nearly 1,000 jobs representing a broad spectrum of manufacturing functions, “including craftsmen, operators, engineers and other both technical and non-technical positions.”
Though Samsung has operated in the U.S. for decades, this plant marks the company’s first appliance manufacturing plant.
The $380 million facility is yet another example of Samsung executives’ commitment to the manufacturing sector. Investments over the past seven months, part of Samsung’s overarching two-year $10 billion investment, include:
- $8 billion acquisition of connected-car technology leader Harman International
- A four-year commitment to invest $1.2 billion in Internet of Things (IoT) R&D and investments
- A $1 billion pledge to expand the Samsung Austin Semiconductor facility, one of the company’s largest foreign direct investments in the U.S. and the largest ever in Texas
- Acquisition of California-based luxury appliance manufacturer Dacor
Since the announcement, Samsung leaders retrofitted the former Newberry Caterpillar building, including a 151,000 square foot expansion. In January 2018, state officials attended celebrations as the first residential washing machine rolled off the assembly line. Samsung plans to produce one million machines in 2018 in addition to washer cabinets, tubs, and basket assemblies.
In December 2017, Dr. Dochul Choi, Samsung senior vice president for global business and technology strategies, introduced the Palmetto Consortium for Home Appliance Innovation. In a partnership with South Carolina, Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina, Samsung is creating a comprehensive five-year partnership dedicated to research related to advanced manufacturing techniques, sensor technologies, energy efficiency, and other areas core to premium home appliance innovation and production. The company’s vision for South Carolina is to create an “ecosystem capable of supporting the full innovation lifecycle, from product concept and R&D to manufacturing, quality assurance, quality care, sales, distribution, and customer care.”
Although a new facility and the opportunities that come with it are promising, some question the plant’s future. Whirlpool and GE Appliances representatives petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission, seeking aggressive import duties on rival washing machines. In response, the Commission recommended graduated tariffs imposed over the next three years, which, if passed, could encourage Samsung’s U.S. washer production.
In response, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said, in a Post and Courier article, tariffs “would hurt not only Newberry and South Carolina and Samsung but also would be a warning signal to other foreign investors who want to make a direct investment in this country. It would be bad for business and contrary to what President Trump is calling on everyone to do.”
Even through these challenges, American manufacturing appears to be making a swift and steady comeback. The recent announcements by major corporations such as Samsung, Toyota, and Mazda are testaments to that fact.
In South Carolina or elsewhere, you can count on the professionals at Global Electronic Services for all your manufacturing machine repairs. Contact us for all your industrial electronic, servo motor, AC and DC motor, hydraulic, and pneumatic needs — and don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook!