$493 billion conglomerate General Electric is shedding it’s 124-year-old legacy; embedding a startup culture to solve some of the biggest problems which this world faces.
Their Industrial Internet of Things platform: Predix, is actually on its way to change the future with its advanced cloud-based Platform as a Service offering for industrial machines. Via Predix, GE wants to improve industrial productivity, infuse more efficiency, and give more power to the industry.
If Microsoft has built a platform to connect personal computers via Windows; if Google & Apple are scaling a platform to connect all smartphones and tablets; then GE is right now building a platform to connect 50 billion devices which include heavy industrial appliances as well as some of the complex machines ever invented.
Predix is changing the future, and it’s happening right in front of our eyes.
Industrial Internet of Things Applications: Few Case Studies
A massive infrastructure development company like Larsen and Toubro has over 30,000 construction assets like cranes and movers across the world. What if the top management wants to know the productivity schedule of each of these assets, at run time; they should know at this moment, which asset is under production, how much hours it has worked and whether it can be deployed anywhere else, instantly?
Using Predix, such real-time accumulation of data can be made possible, using thousands of high-end sensors, which beam out run-time data which is crunched into meaningful information and converted into decision-making data as and when required. Developers can then take these data points, and develop their own API to execute particular activities as per the demand.
Oil and Gas company Reliance Industries has over 1 lakh employees at their Jamnagar facility alone. What if the management wants to understand the skill level and work preferences of each of their employees, and then accordingly assign tasks for the same. What if they want to know the well-being and health update of these employees, at say night 2 AM, so that no employee is unsafe at deep-sea where oil exploration is in progress?
Here comes Predix, with its big data, analytics and combination of physics and digital medium to understand and connect information about lakh of employees, and empower the management to take swift, urgent decisions instantly.
How can two locomotives connect with each other, which have been built differently, but are right now running on the same track? How can these two complex engines understand each other’s needs and requirements, and then align the route and progression automatically so that no mishap ever occurs?
An aircraft flying over the clean skies of Texas, USA has different needs for maintenance, compared to an aircraft flying over the polluted air of Shanghai and Beijing. How can the airlines understand the specific needs of these two aircraft, and schedule a unique maintenance roster so that resources are optimally utilized and safety standards are not compromised?
Predix is the answer, as it can receive millions of data points from locomotives, aircraft, wind turbines, medical devices and hundreds of other heavy duty machines and industrial appliances to connect the dots and present a rock-solid database of refined information which can increase both the efficiency and productivity of the operations.
Predix: An Introduction
Hailed as world’s first ‘Industrial Operation System’, Predix is built on Cloud Foundry Open Source technology, and can be described as a cloud-based Platform as a Service (PaaS) for understanding machines, people and data.
Cloud Foundry is owned by Pivotal Software, which is a joint venture between GE, VMWare, and EMC; and was originally developed by a small Google Team led by Derek Collision, and was called B29. This open source cloud computing platform has been written with Ruby and Go.
On a micro level, Predix provides microservices-based delivery model, which is created using a distributed architecture (cloud, and on-machine)
Once Predix onboard various kinds of machines used in industrial production into its platform, millions of various data points are generated, which can be used by developers to create various apps and APIs. Predix.io is a community of developers, who are right now creating such apps and APIs using the vast amount of data, combined with intelligence and analytics.
It is a fact that the world contains limited resources: we have a certain amount of land, and water scarcity is driving battles all around the world.
In such a scenario, if technology and innovation can help us save these resources, by understanding its demise, and increase productivity and efficiency without wasting them then it can be a real game changer.
Predix is an excellent start, and it would be interesting to observe how the industry responds to it.