Business Irish

Sunday 22 April 2018

Revolutionary off-the-shelf factories are the future of construction

An artist’s impression of the new GE Healthcare campus in Cork
An artist’s impression of the new GE Healthcare campus in Cork

GE's plan for Cork is to roll out Europe's first "off the shelf", prefabricated, bio-manufacturing facilities.

Dubbed KUBio factories they are designed and built in advance right down to the specific materials needed for each room. The units will be built by GE partner M+W in German, and shipped to site for assembly.

It's a model that has already been used in China and is tailored to the super high standards required by cutting-edge makers of medicines. In the China example, GE's pre-build included equipment for labs manufactured and tested at GE Electrical, and water and ventilation equipment installed, all at the factory stage.

The construction modules are produced in a controlled environment for maximum quality control.

It also means ground works on site can be done at the same time as the main manufacturing - a time-saving, so-called parallel process.

The modular design is easily scalable and the use of prefabricated units, built in Germany and shipped to China, or Cork, for assembly cuts building time by as much as 50pc, slashing costs. Even so, GE expects to employ as many as 800 people in the construction stage in Cork, including ground work and assembly.

GE reckons its BioPark will reduce costs and hassle for firms who can slot in to work with their own scientists right at the end of the process.

Irish Independent

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