14 New GE Industrial Internet Technologies Move Machines Closer to Zero Unplanned Downtime

October 9, 2013

There is more than one way to fly a plane. When the weather is good and the skies are open at the destination airport, pilots can cut costs by loading less fuel and shedding the extra weight. But they need good information to make the call.

GE just made the decision easier. The company’s Flight Efficiency Services system (FES) is one of 14 big data technologies released today to help airlines, energy companies, hospitals and other customers cut downtime, improve productivity, and reduce emissions.

GE software engineers are using a “first-of-its-kind” industrial-strength software development platform called Predix to build the applications. The platform provides a standard and secure way to create apps for any machine or device connected to the Industrial Internet, a digital network that links machines, sensors generating data, people and the cloud. “Industrial data is not only big, it’s the most critical and complex type of big data,” says Jeff Immelt, GE chairman and CEO. “Our greatest challenge and opportunity is to manage and analyze this data in a highly secure way to deliver better outcomes for customers and society.”

GE has also partnered with AT&T, Cisco and Intel to improve data flow and boost wired and wireless connectivity.

Immelt is speaking today at GE’s Minds and Machines conference in Chicago.

Immelt says that GE is developing predictive software and hardware systems and industrial sensors that constantly measure machine performance, identify productivity gains and reduce unplanned downtime. “Observing, predicting and changing performance is how the Industrial Internet will help airlines, railroads and power plants operate at peak efficiency,” he says.

Brazil’s Gol Airlines, for example, is using GE’s FES software to analyze and track its flight routes and optimize fuel consumption. The airline predicts that the system will save $90 million over the next five years. St. Luke’s Medical Center is using GE software to manage and analyze patient and equipment data. The system has already helped the hospital shave 51 minutes from bed turnaround time and reduce patient wait times.

GE launched the first 10 Industrial Internet products last year. The products have brought in $290 million in revenues and another $400 million in orders to date. The company said that it plans to leverage its high-margin $160 billion services backlog to develop more predictive technologies, grow software sales, and help customers become even more efficient.