Schneider Electric Plans Manufacturing Expansion in Texas
Schneider Electric is investing in new manufacturing capabilities in a revised El Paso facility in order to address domestic supply chain problems.
Schneider Electric (OTCMKTS: SBGSY) announced a large expansion to their El Paso, TX, plant. The new plant will add 160,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 400 new jobs, making it Schneider's largest facility in the United States. This expansion will add a new building to an existing 576,000 square foot, three-building campus in El Paso that houses 1300 employees.
The new facility will be used to address the delays in the supply chain. “The supply chain challenges of the last year have demonstrated the importance of increasing our domestic manufacturing capability as quickly as possible,” Annette Clayton, CEO and President of Schneider North America, stated in a recent interview. With the COVID-19 shutdowns, many businesses took advantage of the downtime by upgrading their facilities. However, the ongoing supply chain interruptions have extended lead times on many of the necessary components for these upgrades, especially in the building and trades fields.
This added manufacturing capability will get critical products into the hands of domestic manufacturers and consumers much more quickly, and will add nearly $138 million in economic value to the area. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
What is the Purpose of The New Facility?
The newest expansion will focus on “engineer-to-order” parts, particularly customized switchboards and switchgear for distributing low voltages in commercial facilities. These switchboards will be built partially from modular components, but are highly customizable for the facilities where they will be used.
Equipment, such as the Square D low voltage switchboard, will be produced at the El Paso facility. Image courtesy of Schneider Electric
Such customizations include surge protection, breakers, housings, metering, bussing options and materials, distribution line configurations, and communications equipment for troubleshooting and safety. Much of this work will be the fabrication and installation of components into the switchboards, switchgear, and panelboards to meet the specific demands of the industry.
Switchboards from this plant may be used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications, such as data centers, health care facilities, office buildings, wastewater treatment plants, and light manufacturing. Their target markets for this expansion are mainly for North America, with supply lines already established in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for these products.
Schneider’s equipment runs EcoStruxure, an open software architecture. It can be integrated with Industry 4.0 type devices for ease of data collection, analysis, and troubleshooting.
Switchgear production. Image used courtesy of Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric has been an industry leader in electrical hardware since before 1900 - the earliest days of electrification. Currently, they have over 135,000 employees as well as offices and facilities worldwide. They have sixteen manufacturing facilities in the United States, with the El Paso campus being the largest.
Besides switchgear, Schneider Electric also produces panelboards, circuit breakers, lightning protection, transformers for all sizes and scopes of industries, as well as digital control system components, such as the Modicon line of programmable controllers and the Altivar line of variable speed motor drives. They have a hand in virtually all power handling applications, with the ultimate goal of reducing emissions and helping make clean energy a reality.