Big data is not just for predicting election outcomes and mapping genomes. General Electric (GE) is betting on the so-called Industrial Internet — a term they coined — to help manufacturers boost performance, streamline processes and better compete in the global marketplace.
Essentially, the Industrial Internet (II) is a network that connects scores of sophisticated machines embedded with sensors and computer software to other machines so manufacturers can gain real-time insight into everything from production bottlenecks to pending maintenance issues. The result is a transparent system that enables businesses to make more informed business decisions, curb production hiccups and cut costs.
“Ethernet-enabled devices are so widespread now that everything is connected to everything else,” says Jim Pinto, author of “How to Win in the Automation Business” and a consultant specializing in industrial automation. “Machines are now capable of talking to each other.”