Roper Corp. in LaFayette has upgraded one of its premier range products, which is now being produced on two of its assembly lines.
The company celebrated the new product addition with a ribbon cutting at the end of the line last Friday.
According to Roper spokesman Scott Reece, the company has expanded to accommodate an upgrade to its GE Profile Spectra freestanding range.
That model is produced exclusively in LaFayette, Reece said.
The essence of the upgrade is the addition of a warming drawer, which Reece said is a feature that keeps up with the competition and should attract consumers to the GE brand.
Weve invested $30 million in product and line engineering and also in re-tooling our No. 1 and No. 2 assembly lines, Reece said. Weve also invested in new suppliers, new conveyors, tools and worker training.
The 1.1-million-square-foot plant 27 acres under roof is in south LaFayette on Shattuck Industrial Boulevard and employs 1,650 workers.
Reece said the Spectra upgrade is just one of four new products that has recently come out at Roper.
Weve done re-designs on both a gas and an electric counter unit, and we have a new slide-in design of an electric GE Profile range, he said.
A slide-in model, unlike freestanding models, is not finished on the sides for placement in cabinet designs.
The Roper plant opened in LaFayette in 1973 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electrics consumer and industrial division in 1988.
At that time, Reece said, the Roper brand name was sold to competitor Whirlpool.
So while the LaFayette plant is still the Roper Corp., all of the products made there are of the GE brand.
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