The United States of America, and the rest of the world, is in the clutches of the 4th Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. Industrial ecosystems are becoming smarter, more interconnected than ever. Industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Pharmaceuticals, and Healthcare are adopting futuristic technologies and methods. The era now belongs to machine learning, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Big Data, Cloud, and cognitive computing.
Internet of Things (IoT), especially, has been kernel to the Revolution and to the digital transformation of several technology giants as it helped them realise their vision of smart manufacturing. Several large and small companies across the nation and the world are now emulating the success by choosing IoT for their manufacturing processes.
At GE, we develop advanced software and technologies that enable IoT to control and monitor industrial processes. Simply put, the Internet of Things is a network of electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and Internet that connects to objects and enables exchange of data with and physical control of those objects.
For instance, a GE Remanufacturing Facility in Grove City, Pennsylvania, uses GE Digital’s IoT solutions to repair around 1,200 freight locomotives (engines) every year. The facility uses an array of connected software, devices, and sensors to understand how the engine ran, what caused the failure, and what repair it will need.
The software gathers all parameters, analyses them thoroughly, and displays them on computer screens on the plant floor. Engineers and technicians on the site use the unit’s IoT capabilities to operate heavy tools and machinery, and control and monitor much of the remanufacturing process. Since the digital transformation, around 96 stations in the facility report out in real-time, and all the data is accessible in any section of the plant floor within a second.
Besides making manufacturing facilities smart, Industrial Internet of Things also has other positive impacts on the nature of business. It expedites industrial workflow, enhances safety of the employees, cuts downtime, reduces wastage, and keeps the environment out of harm’s way. For instance, the remanufacturing facility, ever since it became interconnected, has gone paper-free within just five years of its inception.
Internet technology is spearheading one of the most iconic digital industrial transformations of the 21st century, and we are at the frontline of it.
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