Ideas for Connected Industry

Discussions about innovative, high-performance technology solutions for industry

Water 2.0 Conference: Providing Digital Solutions

I had the opportunity to participate at our Water 2.0 Conference on February 26 th at NBC Headquarters, 30 Rockefeller Center in NYC. The Water Innovations Alliance Foundation has conducted research on America's Aging Water Infrastructure . Unfortunately, the facts are the following: 1) Many of America’s pipes are over 60 years old with extensive leakage 2) There are over 700 water main breaks in America every day 3) Estimated cost to repair U.S...

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Powerful Ways to Tackle a Complex Industry with Simple Strategies

I often have people ask me "what do I do?" I reply that I help manufacturing companies become more profitable. How do I do that? Do you use a smartphone to map locations from point A to point B? And do you check for traffic updates to redirect your route? There is a lot of complexity behind that, but it's actually very easy to use. I do the equivalent in manufacturing. I take a very complex world and try to make it as simple as possible for the...

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Phablets for the Shop Floor

Typically, consumer products manufacturers have been conservative in the adoption of mobile technology on the shop floor. Some of the key factors in have been the high price of industrial handheld scanners and barcode readers that can cope with the environment and not be attractive enough to “walk home” from the plant with the employees. I want to challenge this status quo now that the price and capability of consumer electronics has hit an...

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Are You Still Scheduling Like This?

When visiting factories around the world, I struggle to understand why scheduling inefficiencies still exist. Whiteboards and spreadsheets? Factories need a tool. They need an effective tool -- an effective solution to take information and lay out their daily schedule in a way that will not only capture it in a very user friendly interface, but can play ‘what if’ scenarios. Stop wasting time walking the floor and taking inventory. Use a tool, a...

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Up to Speed: How to Maximize Efficiency of Control System Applications and Processes

I always want the latest tablet or cell phone because it has advanced capabilities and the best communication experience—think about the transition from 3G to 4G. There are higher levels of computing resources to crunch numbers, run algorithms, and enable you to better communicate machine to machine to generate more productivity. It works the same with control systems. To deliver better performance those control systems have to run better...

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Bad Taste: When Manufacturers Horse Around

The US press is now reporting a story that has been high profile in the UK for a few weeks now: horse meat in consumer food labeled as beef. Being a Brit myself, let me shed some light as to why this is so upsetting for us. We think of horses in the same we think of Rover the dog or Whiskers the cat—a large undomesticated pet. Not to say you would have one running around the house because it would require one huge litter tray. But, for us eating...

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Let your System do the Work. Enable your Workforce.

In part nine of Ask the Experts , Terry Biederman, global water industry manager at GE Intelligent Platforms, answers “How do you enable your workforce?” Picture a world where your equipment, things like PLC’s, now provide and drive workforce activities. When at work, picture an alarm popping up, say a pump fault. The system can drive that through an electronic center operating procedure, and then from there it can go and it can actually create...

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How to Avoid Automotive Recalls

Think of all the parts and assemblies that go into the modern day vehicle. Now think of the millions of vehicles that are produced annually. What if there is a warranty or safety issue with a set of vehicles? Wouldn't it be great to have detailed birth certificates on each of the tens of millions of vehicles in service to determine which vehicles may have the issue that needs to be resolved? With today’s technology, this form of Industrial Big...

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How a Digitally Native, Mobile Generation, will Transform the Water Industry

I am mad. To be completely honest , I have been mad for a long time. I want my flying car ! I was promised it. Every Saturday morning, George Jetson even went so far to demonstrate how it would fold into a tidy suitcase. So, where is it? How hard can it really be? I think the hold must be because of a strong underground movement of tire lovers. They likely have been silently working against my dream; plotting to keep us earth bound for the sole...

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Access Data You Need––Anytime, Anywhere

In part seven of Ask the Experts , Don Busiek, general manager of operations management at GE Intelligent Platforms , answers “Do you have the data you need—anytime and anyplace you need it?” Want to review the prior shift while standing in line at the coffee shop? Check on overall production on vacation in the Caribbean? The trick is to harness technology, harness the latest and greatest technology to be able to leverage your data across...

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Lean Out your Process to Better Track your Parts Supplier

In part five of Ask the Experts , Don Busiek, General Manager of Operations Management Software at GE Intelligent Platforms, answers, “How can you better track your parts suppliers?” An example I’ll give you is an engine turbine, where there are thousands of parts. There might be as many as 300 suppliers manufacturing your parts. Who has what part where? What you really want to do is have all that information connected in your manufacturing...

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Tackle Tasks with Exception-Based Management

Those of you who know me, realize that I am a bit of a tech geek. Ten years ago I bought the first generation iPod for the price of a small mortgage, which by the way still powers up and syncs with iTunes over Firewire … just sayin’. At work I use both an iPad and iPhone, and have become accustomed to the regular red circles (Apple calls them badges) on app icons indicating that something needs attention: I have received an email, I need to...

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One Simple Step to Check your Systems and Operators Experience

In part two of Ask the Experts, Don Busiek, General Manager of Operations Management at GE Intelligent Platforms, answers, “How do you know that your systems are benefiting your operators?” His answer is simple — walk the plant floor. You need to question: ‘Has somebody thought about the operator when they developed that user interface? Have they thought about the operator’s experience when they made that software? Have they minimized the number...

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How Industrial Data Was Born (Part II)

In my last blog, I reminisced about the start of industrial data. It really wasn’t that long ago. Our first forays were pretty ugly and a messy solution to industrial automation. One of the big draw backs of the first automated control panels was the difficulty in changing the logic to modify the control over industrial automation applications. This problem became solvable when the next disruptive technology hit the scene, computers. These...

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How Industrial Data Was Born (Part I)

We take for granted the data that is all around us. That data helps us better understand our processes and how we can improve them. But sometimes we have to pause and remember how it all started and why that data became so important to us. The industrial revolution was the genesis of industrial data although the latter didn’t show up until recently. As disciplines and processes for industry were augmented by better technology, we were able to...

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