In the last 200 years, the world has experienced several waves of innovation. Successful companies learned to navigate these changes and adapt to the changing environment. Today we are on the brink of another thrust of innovation that promises to change the way we do business and interact with the world of industrial machines. It is the rise of the Industrial Internet.
The benefits from this marriage of machines and analytics are multiple and significant. We estimate that the technical innovations of the Industrial Internet could find direct application in sectors accounting for more than $32.3 trillion in economic activity.
Recently, GE Malaysia rolled out its inaugural Minds + Machines forum themed ‘The Power of One Percent’. The forum saw professionals and experts in their own field discuss the applications, and implications of what an improvement of a mere one percent in efficiency, and the benefits businesses and the end-user could reap from these improvements.
The GE Reports team highlights some of the key themes discussed at the forum, for your reading pleasure:
1. Co-Creation the Highway to Innovation
One of the most exciting features to be launched by GE recently is PredixTM, a powerful new software platform developed by GE specifically to connect people, data and machines over the Industrial Internet. Similar to the iOS that powers an iPhone, this platform has a set of software services that help developers build apps for the Industrial Internet.
GE has since launched the PredixTM App Factory, an advanced methodology for rapidly prototyping, validating, and developing Industrial Internet applications, to help you shorten typical development cycles from months to a matter of weeks!
Companies of any size and in any industry can benefit from the investments GE has made to create and deploy their own customized industry apps at speed and scale to better manage the performance of their assets.
There’s even a version that can run on machines such as jet engines, gas turbines, and locomotives. But it’s all there to do the same thing – to run apps that allow us to do big data analytics, monitor machines remotely and have them ‘talk’ to each other.
2. To Efficiency and Beyond – The Power of One Percent
Who would have thought that an increase of one percent in efficiency could result in a substantial amount of savings? With Industrial Internet, it is possible. It starts with embedding sensors and other advanced instrumentation in an array of machines from the simple to the highly complex. This allows the collection and analysis of an enormous amount of data, which can be used to improve machine performance, and inevitably the efficiency of the systems and networks that link them.
Below are some examples:
3. When Humans and Machines Think as One
Picture Credit: Robotenomics.com
Gartner, an analyst firm says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices – the Industrial Internet will play a huge part in connecting machines and humans, allowing them to interact with each other.
When you connect internet sensors to machines, it churns out data – huge amount of data every second. That’s how the term ‘Big Data Analytics’ was born. This data has a singular purpose – to help us make informed decisions about products or services. This data provides valuable information and insights to businesses and those in charge of bringing greater efficiency, and productivity to these industries.
The machines are talking to us and they are talking to us in numbers. It’s time we make good use of it.
4. The Power of Real-Time Insights
The importance of being in the know, NOW, has become more prevalent – never more so in the last decade. Analysing real-time data leads to effective marketing, new revenue opportunities, better customer service, improved operational efficiency, competitive advantages over rival organisations; the list goes on.
With better health outcomes at a lower cost, boosted energy production, substantial savings in fuel, and better performing and longer-lived physical assets, the Industrial Internet will allow us to promote sustainability and savings around the world.
As systems monitoring has advanced and the cost of information technology is falling, the ability to work with real-time data is expanding. Greater capability to manage and analyse high frequency real-time data brings a new level of insight on system operations.
5. Productivity & Efficiency Can Help Save Lives
Not only does Industrial Internet increase efficiency and productivity but it also help saves lives. The combination of sensor, data analytics, and data sharing between people and machines will tell us what we need to know before it happens.
Take the aviation industry for example. An intelligent aircraft will be able to inform maintenance crews about which parts are likely to be replaced and when. This will enable airlines to reshuffle their maintenance schedules accordingly, minimizing the risk of mechanical failure.
Another example would be the electrical grid. Power outages are not only costly, but disruptive and dangerous. Many times outages are not restored, even for weeks, because the location of a broken power line is not known immediately, or a massive system overhaul is needed and parts may be on the other side of the world. With the Industrial Internet, everything from the biggest machines generating power to transformers on power poles can be connected to the Internet, providing status updates and performance data.