GE Opens Advanced Manufacturing Works

GE Opens Advanced Manufacturing Works

The world of advanced manufacturing and digitization continues its steady advance. GE recently announced opening of its first advanced manufacturing facility—a power products manufacturing plant in Greenville, SC.

Interesting that Rockwell Automation just announced a CEO transition leading analysts to look back on Keith Nosbusch’s tenure. Certainly at a time when rivals such as Siemens, Schneider Electric, and, yes, GE have made strong moves in the digital manufacturing space, Rockwell stuck with the “Connected Enterprise.”

That strategy essentially refers to EtherNet/IP networking. I recall my last conversation with CTO Sujeet Chand. I thought maybe he was going to talk about adopting some new technologies. Instead, he introduced a Cisco executive who talked about switches.

I’m en route to Hannover where I have appointments already with Siemens and GE Digital to talk about their digital strategies. Throw in Dell and SAP, and things get interesting.

I think Blake Moret, the next CEO, has his work cut out for him to keep Rockwell Automation relevant in the new age. I’m not usually too critical of Rockwell. I know its reputation for being conservative. Nosbusch stayed the course firmly. I’m starting to think that if Moret doesn’t provide some new directions, there is a risk.

Meanwhile, Back to GE

  • The bullet points from its press release:
    New Facility Will Deploy Best-in-Class Technologies to Accelerate Improvements in Every Aspect of the Manufacturing Process Including Design, Engineering, Product Development, Production, Supply Chain, Distribution and Service and Will Unlock New Productivity and Growth across GE’s Power Portfolio
  • GE Has Invested $73 Million to Date and Will Invest an Additional $327 Million across the GE Power Greenville, S.C., Campus to Boost Innovation and Accelerate the Commercialization of Development of Best-in-Class Technologies for Customers across the Globe
  • Eighty Engineering and Manufacturing Jobs Created with the Facility’s Opening, Expected to Have a Multiplier Effect across the Supply Chain

GE celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Works (AMW) in Greenville as the GE Power business continues to introduce tomorrow’s technologies, today. The announcement comes on the heels of GE’s grand opening of its first additive manufacturing center in Pittsburgh in early April and represents the next step forward in GE’s journey as the world’s premiere digital industrial company.

“The opening of the AMW is a pivotal moment for us. We’re building a skilled workforce and culture that’s devoted to delivering breakthrough innovations that deliver better, faster outcomes for our customers and unlock new productivity and growth.”

GE has invested $73 million in the facility to date and will invest another $327 million across the GE Power Greenville campus over the next several years to drive innovation and the faster development of best-in-class technologies that deliver more value for customers across the globe. At least 80 engineering and manufacturing jobs are being created with the facility’s opening.

GE Power President and CEO Steve Bolze was joined by South Carolina elected leaders for the grand opening of the 125,000-square-foot facility at GE’s Greenville manufacturing campus. The facility broke ground in mid-2014.

“GE is leading the transformation of manufacturing in the power industry, and this facility will ignite the digital industrial revolution for our company and the industry,” said Bolze. “The opening of the AMW is a pivotal moment for us. We’re building a skilled workforce and culture that’s devoted to delivering breakthrough innovations that deliver better, faster outcomes for our customers and unlock new productivity and growth.”

The AMW is GE Power’s first advanced manufacturing facility. The facility will revolutionize the way GE Power designs, creates and improves products by serving as an incubator for the development of advanced manufacturing processes and rapid prototyping of new parts for GE’s energy businesses—Power, Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas and Energy Connections. New techniques and production processes developed at the facility will bring new best-in-class products to global customers quicker than ever.

Advanced manufacturing brings a convergence of the latest technologies together to transform every aspect of the production process to make new, better things, faster. Industrial innovations, from new materials science, 3-D printing (additive manufacturing) and automation to advanced software platforms and robotics are redefining manufacturing for the future.

Advanced manufacturing has a huge and growing significance worldwide. Recent research1 found that nearly 24 million people are already employed in advanced manufacturing industries in the U.S., creating about 19 percent of GDP, and that each job in an advanced manufacturing industry supports another 3.5 jobs through the supply chain.

GE started in Greenville more than 40 years ago with a 340,000-square-foot site. With the latest addition of the AMW, the site has grown close to 1.7 million square feet of factories, offices and laboratories focused on manufacturing advanced products for customers worldwide. GE has more than 3,200 employees in Greenville and has invested more than $500 million in the last five years to bolster critical manufacturing activities housed on the campus. The company has established valuable relationships with local community schools, universities and technical programs to develop new technologies and create a system to support those who are passionate about growing with the industry.
1 The workforce of the future: Advanced manufacturing’s impact on the global economy, April 2016, GE. Authors: John Paul Soltesz, Marni Rutkofsky, Karen Kerr, Marco Annunziata

GE Becomes Industrial Software Giant

GE Becomes Industrial Software Giant

Much time has been invested learning about GE’s new directions, including GE Digital, Digital Twin, Digital Thread, Industrial Software, and Industrial Internet of Things. Then I saw news coming from GE’s annual report–that it has a $5 billion industrial software and analytics company within it that is growing at 20% annually. That is a significant industrial software giant. Letting the GE letter speak for itself:

Digital Industrial

“We are just beginning our transformation as the Digital Industrial Company. The Internet has had a massive impact on consumer productivity and commerce. Its impact on industrial markets is just now being realized. By 2020, 10,000 gas turbines, 68,000 jet engines, more than 100 million lightbulbs and 152 million cars will be connected to the Internet.”

“At GE, we have decided to generate and model this data ourselves—both inside the Company and with our customers. This is what we mean by becoming a Digital Industrial. Our Digital Industrial capabilities will expand our growth rate, improve our margins and bring us closer to our customers.”

As for the Industrial Internet of Things

“There was a time when every sale had a clear endpoint, followed only by routine service and maintenance. Now, sensors on our products send constant streams of data, analyzed and translated into upgrades that drive productivity in industries where even the smallest incremental efficiency can mean very large gains. Capturing it will be a mission in every one of our businesses. Our aspiration is to offer with every GE product a pathway to greater productivity through sensors, software and big-data analytics.”

Benefits

“Our investments are aimed at delivering more productivity for our customers and GE. The performance, so far, of technology companies to generate industrial productivity has been subpar. Industrial productivity, which averaged 4% annually from 1990-2010, is only 1% today. This is because pure connectivity does nothing to create value. Operational productivity requires domain data, physical and digital engineering models, industrial analytics and the ability to modify machines to achieve different outcomes. Ask a hospital CEO how their results have changed once they implemented a new Electronic Medical Record System, and the answer is typically silence. They still lack the data that drives outcomes.”

Industrial Software Killer App

“The ‘killer app’ for the Industrial Internet is GE’s Digital Twin. GE is creating living digital profiles of 500,000+ industrial machines in the field to provide new opportunities for customer growth and productivity. The Digital Twin is a software model of a physical asset or process that will make it possible to manage more precisely than we ever thought possible and deliver better outcomes. The Twin will create new business models and services for GE’s customers and our businesses. On the GE90 engine, we have used Digital Twins to increase fleet availability while saving tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary service overhauls. In rail, we are using Digital Twin models of the Evolution Locomotive to enable our customers to minimize fuel consumption and emissions. The data economy for the industrial world has arrived, and GE is in a unique position to lead it. We enter it bringing decades of deep domain expertise about our industries and volumes of data about our machines and their processes that no one else can match.

Top 10 Software Company

“With this technical leadership, GE can become a top 10 software company by 2020. At the center of this effort is our cloud-based operating system, Predix. Predix offers our customers complete situational awareness to monitor, and continually improve, equipment performance. In practice, it will assure everyone in a given enterprise–whether it’s an airline, a hospital, a railroad, an oilfield, or a wind farm–a real-time stream of relevant information, accessible on mobile assets. Everything we are doing in data and analytics comes together in this operating system.

“We plan to open Predix to our customers and other industrial companies. This gives GE a unique opportunity to create value in the platform ecosystem. We launched Predix in the second half of 2015. By the end of 2016, we expect it to have 200,000 assets under management, 100 GE applications and 20,000 developers creating many more applications.”

Proof of Industrial Internet

“GE applications provide a show site for the Industrial Internet. This year we will generate $500 million of productivity by applying data and analytics inside GE. We will have 75 ‘brilliant factories’ driving yield, cycle and uptime through model-based design. We are using model-based design on our New Product Introductions which allows us to develop and launch new products with reduced cycles, lower cost and higher quality. We can correlate material usage with product performance to change the work scope in a service agreement which drives productivity for GE and the customer.”