If a Dishwasher Can Talk, Then Why Not an Operator Interface?
Recently I bought a new dishwasher for my house. Compared to my previous one, it has a lot of interesting features. But what surprised me most is its ability to remotely send its status to the manufacturer. Anyone who has been on troubleshooting calls for a home appliance can attest to the benefits of this feature.
If in today’s connected world we can remotely troubleshoot a dishwasher in my home, why can’t we do the same (or presumably better) for a wastewater plant (or any other plant) in a remote corner of the planet? The answer is, “We should and we can.” In fact, many of GE’s hardware solutions are available today with onboard remote diagnostic and maintenance capabilities.
At GE, we are making the Industrial Internet real for businesses of all types, from hospitals to off-shore oil refineries. We aim to make the lives of our customers simpler by taking advantage of the connectivity and technology pervasive in today’s world. Take for instance QuickPanel+, our latest operator interface.
Today, every QuickPanel+ that ships has a remote access agent preinstalled. This software comes from a company called Secomea (Secure Communications Made Easy). If a company needs the benefits of remote access, then all they have to do is obtain a license through Secomea; the software is already on board and only needs to be activated. According to Secomea, the software provides “Secure M2M communication solution for Machine Builders and System Integrators.” Companies that use the software can then connect to their automation panel to assess diagnostics or do remote maintenance as needed—no matter where it is located with “No need for open ports in firewalls, fixed IP addresses, VPN or IT skills.”
This is just one example of making Industrial Internet connections easier and assisting our customers in improving their security postures at the same time. For me, a connected dishwasher means my dishes will always be sparkling clean. For our industrial customers, connectivity means the facilities that provide the water and electricity that my dishwasher uses can be controlled easily and with Secomea’s software and security features. Now if they could just come up with a way to remotely unload my dishwasher…