Ideas for Connected Industry

Discussions about innovative, high-performance technology solutions for industry

Company Initiatives Come and Go, but Make the Gains Stick

When I joined GE, Six Sigma was a big, company-wide program, and certification was mandatory. My peers and I all completed projects, and, across the company, Six Sigma helped deliver millions of dollars in cost savings. Not every company goes as deep into an initiative as GE has done with Six Sigma. But, even Six Sigma at GE has changed. There are still Six Sigma roles, projects and training – and it is still taken very seriously, but it is no...

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Reimagining Infrastructure Through Technology

Alan Hinchman, Global Marketing Director of GE Intelligent Platforms, answers, “How do we use the digital revolution to connect machines to water to solutions?” There may not be enough water to support the world’s population at current growth rates, given the location of cities and their nearby water sources. Just running a pump is not enough anymore; instead we must understand how to run the pump at lowest cost. How do we connect machines and...

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CPG Adopts the Industrial Internet

I just returned from PACK EXPO 2013 along with 29,000 of other exhibitors and attendees, and I’m still excited by the energy of the event and how technology is truly transforming the packaging industry.[gallery link="file" ids="1434,1435,1425,1424,1423,1422,1421,1420,1439"] At GE, we believe one of those transforming technologies is the Industrial Internet and how connections between machines, data, insights, and people will drive business...

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Connecting the Industrial Internet with Water Infrastructure

Current water infrastructure is based on archaic technology designed for water-rich areas. In this model, water loss was acceptable, since there was plenty more and energy was cheap. This model no longer makes sense, especially with emerging markets where water and other resources are scarce. Alan Hinchman, Global Marketing Director of GE Intelligent Platforms, answers, "How can use technology to change the quality of water?" We need to change...

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It’s a Connected World and We Just Work in It

The world becomes more and more connected every day and it has made its impact in the business realm. Machine-to-Machine, or M2M, is changing the workplace. Just recently, Peggy Smedley invited me on her radio show where we talked about this concept and how it translates into the Industrial world. [audio mp3="/sites/geautomation/files/userfiles/images/blog-comm/2013/09/GE-Implications.mp3"][/audio] In a manufacturing environment, many types of...

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The Tipping Point for Industrial Data Sharing in a Connected World

Everywhere I go, there is this underlying concern about whether or not customers will be willing to put their industrial data in the cloud. Sometimes the concern is about data privacy regulations within the country or region. Other times it’s about the proprietary nature of process data as this is the customer’s “secret sauce” in terms of how they make their business successful. It’s actually quite interesting and accentuates the conservative...

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Do CPG Manufacturers Have Big Data Issues?

When the words “ big data ” are used many times, it conjures up images of very high-speed production processes or über-large assets pumping out a continuous stream of complex information. In fact, at our annual customer advisory council meeting back in 2012 when we were showing our new big data solutions, the response from CPG manufacturers was, “Great, but we don’t have big data.” For this year’s upcoming PACK EXPO conference, when we were...

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The Biggest Challenge is Blank Paper

We love our technology at GE, we live it every day and we love talking about it. Sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves that other people have very different lives, have wildly different priorities, and that the things we take for granted as basic, are new for them and that starting from a blank sheet of paper is often the biggest challenge we can all face. A while back, we met with the senior vice president of a major aerospace company to talk...

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Beating the Competition: The Top 3 Things that Matter

So many things matter in life. Enjoying family and friends. Being a good person. Standing up for what you believe in. Eating ice cream (may be a personal one of mine, not sure this applies to everyone). At work, beating the competition matters. The competition is trying to steal your job. They’re trying to take food off your plate and take money away from your family. This may sound harsh, but think about it, it’s true. So, how do you ensure you...

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Enabling the Next-Generation Operator In Today’s Connected World

There is no shortage of data in most water and wastewater utilities today. Conversely, there’s usually too much data from too many systems, making collaboration and analysis nearly impossible. Connected data and software platforms can help reduce operational variability, energy, and chemical usage, and the overall cost of operations while ensuring quality water for customers and consistent regulatory compliance. This is called operational...

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GE Intelligent Platforms at PACK EXPO 2013…… Really???

This week I have been called by two members of the press and asked that very question—yes Pat and Jim, I am talking about you. To be honest, the question is valid as we have attended PACK EXPO the past four years, but this is the first year we have registered as exhibitors. The simple answer is this year we have new compelling technology to share with the people attending and other exhibitors that involves adoption of Industrial Internet...

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No More Silos: Interoperability Is Key

Today, manufacturing data exists in silos. We all know it. We all know we need to do something about it. No one wants to tackle it. Getting people, systems and data to talk together is hard, and we have immediate challenges to deal with—inventory levels, downtime, supplier quality. But what happens down the road when your different systems don’t talk? Well, your competitors overtake you with new products you can’t get out the door. Historically...

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Real-Time Operational Intelligence & Aging Water Infrastructure

A large portion of the pipes, pumps, valves and other water infrastructure operating in the U.S. today dates back to the 1940s or earlier. With water systems crumbling, the U.S. loses about seven billion gallons of treated water per year through water main breaks and leaking pipes, at a time when almost a third of the nation’s cities are expected to experience a water scarcity crisis in the next few years. Water main breaks can cost utilities...

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Better Together

This week in San Francisco, GE conducted an Industrial Big Data Summit where we and our brethren at the GE Software Center announced breakthrough technology that addresses the large amount of data that exists in business today. As an automation business within GE, I’m often asked about the Software Center. How do we work together? Do our missions differ? My answer is, “No, we are a team. We complement, share and push together towards a common...

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You Have Your Data. Now what?

Availability of data isn't a problem anymore. Today’s problem is making sense of it all. It’s not necessarily just about the ability to store terabytes of data . That’s part of the challenge, but it’s only a small part of the challenge. The big win is when we integrate that data into our processes and deliver business value. There’s no question that there are lots of secrets and tips and wisdom contained in these huge, huge piles of data that we...

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