Industrial Edge Node: The iPhone of Industry

Vibhoosh Gupta speaking
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.

Even Steve Jobs didn’t imagine that today iPhones would be cameras, GPS devices, credit card terminals, electronic banks and digital wallets. Nor did he imagine the business opportunities spawned by iPhone technology. Uber and Airbnb became multi-billion dollar companies by riding that smart phone wave. The flexibility and expandability of the platform is the genius of the iPhone.

Can we do something similar in the industrial space? Can we create an industrial edge node with the real-time capabilities of today’s smartphone? GE’s integrated control systems were designed with this kind of connectivity in mind.

When our control systems improve efficiency by even 2%, our customers benefit from better performance at a significantly reduced cost. As we develop and improve algorithms that help productivity, it directly affects the bottom line. Advanced capabilities like remote asset performance management can take data from the machine and send it securely to the cloud, in real-time, where it can be leveraged for advanced analytics. When we detect anomalies early and mitigate failure, we change reactionary maintenance to proactive maintenance and really save the customer quite a bit of money.

Control systems can act as a gateway to the Industrial Internet for connected machines. These advanced controls hold the machine data, connect that data securely to the Industrial Cloud, and then manage performance based upon granular data transmitted rapidly from an industrial edge node. This is the decade of industrial efficiency, with an impact that is possibly more significant than the one created by the iPhone nearly a decade ago. Industrial “apps” will be developed tomorrow that we can’t even imagine today; new business will be launched from this platform that we haven’t even envisioned yet.

We have created a trillion-dollar worldwide economy by connecting 7 billion humans to the Internet. Imagine what will happen when 50 billion devices connect. Welcome to the Industrial Internet.

If you are at Embedded World this week, be sure to stop by booth #286, Hall 5, and say hello to our team!

Vibhoosh Gupta

Vibhoosh Gupta has more than 16 years of product management, product marketing and engineering experience with a passion to conceive new ideas and grow businesses. In his current role Vibhoosh is leading GE's Automation and Controls Industrial Automation [VG] product portfolio, where he is working on making the Industrial Internet real. Vibhoosh received his MBA from F.W.Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson and Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering degree from National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, in India.

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Moore's Law of computer power (doubling every 2 years) will find its parallel on the internet-of-things, but at a greater rate which will not be known until after-the-fact. GE's Vibhoosh has an excellent point of view.

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