Ideas for Connected Industry

Discussions about innovative, high-performance technology solutions for industry


Who Ya Gonna Call?

Whether you have questions about PROFINET or PROFIBUS technology, joining PI North America, or adding PROFINET to your product, PROFINET experts are waiting for your call.


Digital Controls

Search Engines and Smart Phones Drive the Industrial Internet: The Rise of Connected Controls

Industry demands the benfits that search engines ad smart phones have brought to the commercial world—and the Industrial Internet can deliver.


Pokemon Go

Imagining the "PROFINET Go" App

What if we created an app that, like Pokemon Go, could superimpose the PROFINET logo on every plant, facility and factory where PROFINET is used?


Future of Controls

A Journey into the Future of Controls: Let’s Go Where No One Has Gone Before

I recently wrote a blog post called “ Why Connectivity to Controls Matters ,” where I discussed the concept of an “Advise” layer enabled by connectivity and how this optimizes machines and processes much like how connectivity has made humans more efficient. Last month we introduced this idea to our North American channel partners. I was delighted and encouraged by how the message resonated with the more than 150 people in attendance. I was...


What Does It Mean to Be Achilles Certified?

Cyber security is a critical component of the Industrial Internet. While there are many benefits to connecting machines, with this connectivity comes increased risk that processes and data can be attacked or accessed by unauthorized users. The numbers around cyber security are staggering. Cyber security incidents are on the rise, increasing nearly 40% between 2014 and 2015. Estimates put the cost of cyber attacks at upwards of $1 billion. To...


Hannover Messe 2016

Hannover Messe: At the Controls of Modern Industry

Since 1947, Hannover, the capital city of Lower Saxony, has hosted the world's leading fair for industrial technology: Hannover Messe. At this year’s event, more than 5,000 exhibitors presented their latest news to more than 190,000 visitors. The main topic was industry’s transformation from physical to digital: the so-called Industrie 4.0 (or Industrial Internet or IIoT). Automation & Controls was represented at the center of a nice GE...


Hannover Messe

Sprechen Sie Industrie?

Spanning approximately 5.3 million square feet, Hannover Messe is the world's largest industrial fair, according to show organizers. Over the course of five action-packed days, more than 5,000 exhibitors and 250,000 visitors filled up the 27 exhibit halls and pavilions and the show’s convention center in the town of Hannover, Germany. The sheer scale of the show made it a fitting location for GE, the world’s digital industrial company, to...



Let PROFINET Monitor Your System to Increase Uptime

How much does downtime cost you in your plant? An automotive plant’s downtime could cost $10,000 per hour. Your mileage may vary, but there definitely is a cost for downtime at your plant. And you can’t be everywhere all the time to know whether your process is running as it should. You need an extra set of eyes and ears constantly monitoring your system. That’s where PROFINET comes in. PROFINET helps prevent downtime and save money through two...


Wind Turbine

Why Connectivity to Controls Matters

We as humans are wired to sense, think and then act. In prehistoric times, a person would sense a problem (storm clouds on the horizon), think about what to do (get out of the rain) and act (take shelter). They didn’t have the capability to get information from others on what to expect or what to do. With the advent of communication technology like the telegraph and telephone, people could add another step—get information from other people, most...


GE Controls Summit

Controls Summit: Great Minds Think Together

As GE continues its journey to becoming the world's leading Digital Industrial Company, we at Automation & Controls are focusing on the essential role our controls solutions will play in that evolution. Today, in conjunction with GE's Global Research Center (GRC) and GE Digital, we are hosting product managers, engineering managers and key technologists from across the Company for a one-day Controls Summit in Niskayuna, NY (U.S.). I can...



Where Is the Edge of the Industrial Internet?

When I read Vibhoosh Gupta’s blog post, Industrial Edge Node: The iPhone of Industry , it made me think about where the edge really is. I’ve heard “edge” defined differently by different people. This is my attempt to define it for the industrial space and show where PROFINET fits. IT may define the edge as the last Ethernet switch before the Ethernet cable disappears into the factory. The Ethernet-centric factory network expert may define the...


Automation World Awards

Recognizing the Power of Connectivity

Kim Schultz, Neal Skidmore, Bill Huntley, Yanis Liaskos, Tom Jeffery, and Connie Chick stand proudly with their awards. I’m proud to announce we recently were recognized as a First Team Honoree in five categories by Automation World magazine for their 2015 Leadership in Automation program. In its fifth year, the program recognizes innovation, leadership and excellence among suppliers of automation software, technology and products. Honorees are...


Vibhoosh Gupta speaking

Industrial Edge Node: The iPhone of Industry

When Apple unleashed its iPhone in 2007, it was truly a market disruptor: The first edge node for humans, putting the power of a PC in the palm of your hand. Not only can you use an iPhone to make phone calls, but you can check your email, browse the Internet and listen to music. However, the most revolutionary iPhone element was the concept of “apps.” You can create apps and use them to change the personality and functionality of your iPhone...


Gas Turbine

Realizing the Dream of a Fast and Easy Equipment Profile

How convenient would it be to have a tool, which with a simple push of a button, would provide a complete, real-time lifecycle profile of your vehicle? Not only the big stuff; everything from the cables, spark plugs, A/C, heater core, and pistons, to power seats, wiper blades, and tires. This tool would clearly identify all current and outdated parts along with their suggested replacements and even provide support for ordering, installation and...



PROFINET: Sadly, Not the Industrial Internet's Main Focus

The Industrial Internet, Industrial Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0 are grand and glorious visions which are being realized in more detail every day. Some even see these trends as the logical result of automation’s growth. I would like to see PROFINET as the main focus of these, but, alas, it’s not. Probably rightly so. Instead, the focus of these trends is measurable ROI. Knowing enough about the machines and processes being controlled...