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Predix in action: How digital insights are optimizing operations in Asheville, North Carolina

April 28, 2017

Have you ever found yourself saying, “If only I had an extra hour in my day”?

The length of a day may be fixed, but what if you could somehow optimize to accomplish more in that one day? At GE Aviation, that’s exactly what we’re doing ...

We’re reinventing manufacturing, connecting hardware and software, and using data to generate insights that enhance productivity and optimize operations. Our Brilliant Manufacturing software is the synthesis of two decades of working with the world’s most recognized brands in manufacturing and our own GE plants, powered by Predix.

Predix is the software platform for building and managing industrial internet applications. It enables organizations across all industries to optimize assets and operations. Predix has a highly secured and scalable architecture that enables GE and its customers to predict, adapt, and react more quickly and effectively than ever before, linking design, engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, distribution and services into one globally scalable intelligent system, and weaving a Digital Thread through the entire process to create a Digital Twin that enables smarter decision-making.

The Predix platform recently enabled our GE Aviation team to develop a new application in less than three months that is enhancing productivity in our Asheville, North Carolina facility, where GE held its Annual Shareowners Meeting earlier this week.

In this facility where blade retainers for the GE90 engine are manufactured, at any given time, an operator is managing four separate parts, rotating, concurrently, on a path through four separate machines, each machine with its own unique contribution to the build of the part, and its own cycle time.

This creates complexity for the operator that requires constant decision-making about which machine to focus on to optimize operations, even when the operator is standing in the cell, acutely tuned into the operation and status of each machine. That complexity only increases as practical realities, like lunch breaks, are taken into consideration.

Enter, GE’s Standard Work Optimization Tool, or “SWOT”.

SWOT is a GE-developed application that runs off of the Predix platform. This tool provides advanced, real-time data analysis that tells the operator which action to perform next on which machine at any given time, optimizing operations. In just one month of application, this Predix-based tool has increased productivity in the cell where it operates by twelve percent.

This application can now be shared with rest of GE, beyond Aviation, demonstrating the concept behind the GE Store, which draws on the synergies of each of our businesses innovating on a common platform to creating solutions that drive value not only for GE, but for our Customers as well.

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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.