The Dawn of the Smart Factory

With its recent blockbuster report, "Industrial Internet: Pushing the Boundaries of Minds and Machines," General Electric (IW 500/5) has found itself at the center of the smart factory discussion.

"The interconnected network of industrial operations that makes up the industrial Internet," the report explains, "brings together the advances of two transformative revolutions: the myriad machines, facilities, fleets and networks that arose from the Industrial Revolution, and the more recent powerful advances in computing, information and communication systems brought to the fore by the Internet Revolution."

To Don Busiek, general manager of manufacturing software at GE Intelligent Platforms, Immelt's presentation and the report itself are heralding a new age of manufacturing. "There is a huge shift happening in manufacturing today," he says. "With the advent of new technologies, smarter assets and smarter devices, today's advanced factories have essentially become data centers driving intelligence across the enterprise."