Enabling insights-led product innovation
At GE, we proudly use our technology to continuously make our own products and services the best they can be. That also applies to finding new ways to improve the current products that we manufacture—and GE Power is doing just that. We’ve placed sensors on gas turbines to help us prioritize customer issue resolution work as well as improve equipment production in an effort to reduce future equipment issues.
David Harper, a power services engineering leader, recently shared how we improved the product design of our 7FA gas turbine compressor bleed valves, which were sticking and preventing customers from starting up the gas turbine. This improvement potentially saved up to $50,000 in cost for each failed start up. And, this number could add up quickly considering we have around 1000 7FA gas turbines around the world. Here’s some background on the story:
Since we hadn’t implemented Predix APM at the time, our service engineers were receiving ad hoc reports from customers about the valve sticking. This issue was something that could potentially impact customer operations, so we needed to be able to address and solve for it immediately.
During a scheduled shutdown, we implemented our asset performance management solution on the turbines and developed an analytic to detect what exactly was causing the valve sticking. What we learned was that the valve sticking was actually happening much more frequently than our customer issue reporting originally led us to believe. So, we took that real-time data and used it to uncover actionable insights to help our product design team address the issue. The design team took that information and worked directly with our supplier to change the valve stem material to reduce sticking.
So, what came next? For our customers: fewer failed starts and increased satisfaction. For us: an optimized product design that was proactively identified, saving both cost and time.
This example is just one of many powerful use-cases, across GE and non-GE businesses, that showcases how Predix APM is unlocking new efficiencies across the product lifecycle—from design and build to distribution, service, operation, and maintenance—and providing end-to-end value.