The GE Power plant in Salem

The GE Power plant stands in Salem. The company announced the plant’s closure in August 2018.

Whether you just need a cheap used pneumatic impact wrench or you want a memento of Roanoke Valley manufacturing history, an online auction running through the middle of next week may be of interest.

The Salem manufacturing center of General Electric is selling thousands of pieces of small and large production equipment the wake of its shutdown.

“State of the Art Metal Fab. Facility” is the headline on the auction brochure. Online bidding will continue until Wednesday, said Andrew Duncan, vice president of business development at The Branford Group, which is managing the sale.

The cyber gallery of 827 items includes a hydraulic copper punch, a grinder, a bender and a 4,000-watt Amada laser. There are a dozen bridge cranes, a paint system and scores of tools up for taking by the highest bidder.

GE Power confirmed in August 2018 it would cease manufacturing in Salem this year after nearly 65 years. The union that represented hourly workers at the plant predicted that 260 people would lose their jobs, but the company planned to continue to employ 200 salaried workers who have been working at the plant.

The auction now underway is the plant’s second; electronics and related goods were sold previously. A third auction, the date of which has not been announced, will offer up plant support equipment, Duncan said.

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Jeff Sturgeon covers business, banking, transportation and federal court. Phone: (540) 981-3251. Email: jeff.sturgeon@roanoke.com. Mail: 201 W. Campbell Ave., Roanoke, VA 24011.

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