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Industrial internet can save up to $20 billion a year

Staff writer |
GE released a new report detailing how the Industrial Internet, predictive analytics and new machine-human collaboration in the workplace can significantly boost productivity, create new jobs and skills, and minimize unplanned downtime in major industries.

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The report, titled The Industrial Internet@Work and written by GE Chief Economist, Marco Annunziata, and GE's Director of Global Strategy and Analytics, Peter C. Evans, finds that the time and costs wasted are largely due to inefficiencies in how information is gathered, stored, accessed and shared.

As information becomes more intelligent, the future of work will be transformed and a new, more highly skilled workforce will emerge. Workers will be able to spend more of their time in higher value-added activities, while upgrading their knowledge, skills and experience at a much faster pace. New digital and software tools will create a more efficient and productive way to interact with machines, increasing collaboration and faster information sharing.

"Gas turbine maintenance workers, for instance, do much of their service work on a set timetable and lack full real-time information about the condition of the turbine parts. If they come too late and failure occurs, unplanned downtime can cascade across the system and affect the economy. A new, highly skilled workforce will emerge as the Industrial Internet unleashes a new standard in efficiency that saves entire industries billions of dollars in unplanned downtime and turns industrial operators into skilled information-workers," Mr. Annunziata said.

The report highlights the billions of dollars and hundreds of millions of man hours the Industrial Internet can save. This is just a slice of the total installed base of industrial equipment that requires the attention of operators, field engineers, fleet managers and executives who either have direct or indirect interaction with complex machines.

For example, in Power 52 is million man-hours per year; in Aviation Time to Service is 205 million man-hours per year, and estimated Value $10 billion.

According to the report, the Industrial Internet will create new jobs, both from the overall boost it brings to economic growth as well as the need to manage the new technologies it introduces. These future jobs like digital-mechanical engineers, data scientists, user interface experts, and business operations data analysts, will require new technical skills, and will enable greater workplace efficiency and productivity.

This will result in increased job satisfaction among workers; Current workers will become fluent in emerging technologies, improving their efficiency, while new workers will be trained to contribute specialized scientific and technical skills.

A wind farm engineer, for example, could soon arrive at work with a wireless device indicating which turbine needs attention and what needs to be fixed. The same device will store and transmit relevant technical information and enable the engineer to share information and learnings with remote colleagues.

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