GE and Intel are working on LED lights that can collect temperature data from assembly lines, making processes such as assembling turbines easier.
At GE Power’s plant in Greenville, S.C., one of the difficult parts of building turbines is making sure parts fit well together after they're heated for assembly, because uneven temperatures can lead to defects.
The smart LEDs analyze the temperature at each area of the assembly line and signal workers if temperatures are unsafe.
The temperature sensors stream information to Predix, GE’s IoT operating system.
VP of Intel’s Industrial Internet of Things group Tony Neal-Graves said that lights are an ideal place to put sensors, because they're already fixed in place and have a power source.
Installing sensors there could, effectively, kill two birds with one stone.
The first test of the remote sensor-equipped LED lights will be performed at the Greenville facility, which has just one turbine workstation, followed by another test in an Intel office.
Intel and GE plan to be able to offer the light-based sensors to other companies in early 2017.