The Industrial Internet: The Future Is Big

This is the second post of a five-part weekly series exploring the Industrial Internet in the New Industrial Age. If you missed the beginning of the series, catch up by reading The Journey to the Industrial Internet. 

shutterstock_132584999So why the need for a new platform? Today, sensors on industrial equipment produce continuous signals that are sampled at various speeds to create data we can process. Each sensor gives us a unique perspective on the equipment from temperature readings to vibrations, from pressures to air flows. These readings are analyzed in real time. Because of this, we can ensure the equipment is working properly and data is stored properly to further analyze and better understand both the health of the equipment and the health of the processes.

No one rain drop is responsible for the flood. With advances in industrial equipment and sensor technology, we are now able to more finely control equipment; better tune it; get more out of it; make it run longer and last longer; make it more efficient; keep the jet engine working 99.999999% of the time and ensure that, if it fails, it fails on ground. Storing this data has gone from a trickle to a flood—and from a flood to a tsunami. Over time, data size has grown from megabytes to gigabytes to terabytes (or, as one customer called it, terrible-bytes).

Today, GE alone manages 5 TB of data per day in its monitoring centers to ensure the health and safety of its medical equipment, locomotives, jet engines and turbines. Data sets continue to grow today, and with more and more advances in equipment, the data will continue to grow well into the future. Indeed, the future is big. The future is Big Data.

Note: This post is part two of a five-week series examining the journey of the Industrial Internet. 

Brian Courtney

A recent transplant to the MidWest, Brian thinks Big Data “rocks.” He’s recently taken the Analytics piece of GE’s business under his wing, so if you have thoughts on any of these – MidWest, Big Data or Predictive Analytics – even rocks – follow Brian on Twitter @brianscourtney.

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