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GE unveils the industrial internet operating system

The GE Predix platform is now positioned as an operating system to run industrial machines more efficiently

GE has taken its analytics platform to the next stage by adding the availability of an operating system, which the company claims has been designed to run industrial machines.

Called, the operating system allows third-party software engineers to build, deploy and scale industrial internet applications, according to GE.

GE Digital CEO Bill Ruh described the operating system as being “for industry to manage big machines to make them more productive”.

“We are building an open platform, where GE’s 14,000 developers can collaborate with our customers and partners to create new applications,” he added.

At the company’s annual Minds+Machine conference in Paris, GE CEO Jeff Immelt said: “Our approach is an industrial-strength platform.”

During his keynote presentation, Immelt discussed how industrial companies can use digital models of their machines, creating so-called “digital twins” of physical industrial assets.

He said that combining analytics fed in from sensors on machines in the real world with domain expertise will enable industrial companies to drive productivity.

GE does not expect all data collected from machines in the field to be fed up to the cloud. Instead, the machines will incorporate intelligent sensors that both gather and perform local analytics.

Ruh said the company’s strategy is to start with the machines, which he said are able to perform massive volumes of data-edge computing. This is where all data from a machine is collected into a data lake, and then statistical analytics is used locally to identify trends and anomalies.

“We use domain expertise to build an outcome,” explained Ruh.

In effect, these outcomes are coded as enterprise applications, which are designed to improve operations, maintenance and efficency of a specific machine.

Read more about Predix

In the GE model, the cloud could be used for further data processing. “Machine learning in the cloud can be used to drive analytics,” said Immelt.

Digital CEO

Immelt is regarded among tech-savvy CEOs as a leader. The company he heads began its digital journey in 2009, when it made a bid to improve internal productivity.

Over the past six years the company has taken the internal digital journey and worked to build products around its best practice, which is now encapsulated in the Predix platform and applications built on top of Predix.

“If you don’t think you’re good enough to attract a software developer, you are wrong,” said Immelt, commenting on the importance of IT.

And referring specifically to the role of the CIO, he added: “Reform the way you think about IT. IT leaders have to sit at the front of every meeting room.”

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