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GE opens up industrial Internet platform to any user

10 October, 2014

GE has announced that it is making its industrial Internet software platform, called Predix, available to any company from next year, allowing them to create and deploy their own customised apps to manage the performance of their assets better.

GE is also expanding its relationship with Intel and Cisco to connect the growing number of machines, systems and edge devices to the industrial Internet, regardless of manufacturer. These co-innovations will make it easier for operators to integrate Predix into their existing infrastructures.

The next generation of software-defined, Predix-ready devices will embed metadata and complex objects, and ensure open, secure communications from sensors and field devices to the supervisory control layer and, ultimately, to cloud-based services.

“The tools are in place to realise the potential of the industrial Internet to increase productivity for our customers and for GE,” says GE’s chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt. “The more we can connect, monitor and manage the world’s machines, the more insight and visibility we can give our customers to reduce unplanned downtime and increase predictability. By opening up Predix to the world, companies of any size and in any industry can benefit from the investments GE has made by eliminating the barrier to entry.”

GE is working with Intel to make it possible to embed intelligence and adaptability into almost any device. The new architecture will be made available to gateway manufacturers to make the exploding number of connected devices and sensor networks “Predix-ready.” The first wave of new Predix-ready devices at the edge of the network are expected to go online early next year.

“The platform we are developing with GE is designed to connect the 85% of unconnected edge devices to the cloud with a common platform to secure and manage devices, as well as capture data,” explains Doug Davis, vice-president and general manager of Intel’s IoT group. “By securely capturing and analysing data from systems not previously connected, businesses can unlock new opportunities by changing employee behaviours, fine-tuning assets or designing new products and services.”

Cisco is integrating Predix into its next generation of rugged networking products. Cisco and GE have already developed a Predix-ready Cisco industrial router for harsh environments and see it as the first of a portfolio of offerings designed to optimise assets and operations.

GE has also launched a methodology for rapidly prototyping, validating, and developing industrial Internet applications that, it claims, will shorten typical development cycles from months to weeks. It is using this methodology ­– called Predix App Factory – to develop ways of reducing resource consumption, improving operational efficiency, and lowering risk for its customers.

GE CEO Jeffrey Inmelt: the industrial Internet is a win-win for GE and our customers

For example, GE Aviation has created an app that allows airlines to blend current information with advanced analytics to monitor jet engines to detect and respond to issues in real time.

GE says it is already on track to deliver more than $1bn of revenue this year from more than 40 industrial Internet offerings, with $1.3bn in orders, helping customers improve asset performance management (APM) and business operations. It is currently monitoring and analysing 50 million data elements from 10 million sensors on $1 trillion of managed assets every day, to help its customers to minimise unplanned downtime.

“The industrial Internet is a win-win for GE and our customers,” says Inmelt. “Our offerings will increase GE’s services margins and boost organic industrial growth, with the potential to drive as much as $20bn in annual savings across our industries.”

GE has also announced new global alliances with Softbank, Verizon, and Vodafone to provide a range of wireless-based systems optimised for the industrial Internet. In addition, it is working with AT&T to connect its machines and equipment, such as locomotives and aircraft engines, to the secure cloud via AT&T’s global network. 




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