How GE Drives Big Machine Optimization in the IoT

The folks at General Electric Intelligent Platforms get to play with big toys. Whether it’s a 200-foot tall wind turbine, a $10-million jet engine, or a giant industrial rock crusher, the object of their professional attention is easy to see. What’s harder to grasp is how they transform the terabytes of data streaming off the big machines’ sensors in ways that save their owners millions of dollars.

The Intelligent Platforms branch of General Electric uses a combination of data science, massively parallel computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize big machines in ways that were never before possible. They call what they do “recombinant innovation,” and it’s largely about rethinking how traditional processes work at industrial levels. Small changes made to traditional business processes and maintenance schedules may cut costs or improve efficiency by a relatively small amount. But spread out over a large fleet, these changes can turn into big savings over time.