An American multinational conglomerate, General Electric found that connecting machines and equipment over the internet, therefore allowing them to communicate with each other and operate automatically led to a significant increase in efficiency and productivity.
The report stated:
“The world is on the threshold of a new era of innovation and change with the rise of the ‘industrial internet’. It is taking place through the convergence of the global industrial system with the power of advanced computing, analytics, low-cost sensing and new levels of connectivity permitted by the internet.”
To read the latest issue of Manufacturing Digital, click here
- Guest speaker named for Manufacturing Industry Summit
- UK space industry to benefit from £1.2bn investment
- inspirepac 'lean' on MAS to reach £24m sales target
Co-author of the report and GE Chief Economist, Marco Annunziata commented:
“Securing even part of these productivity gains could bring great benefits at both the individual and economy-wide level. The full potential of the ‘industrial internet’ will be felt when the three primary digital elements – intelligent devices, intelligent systems and intelligent automation – fully merge with physical machines, facilities, fleets and networks.
“When this occurs, the benefits of enhanced productivity, lower costs and reduced waste will propagate through the entire industrial economy and eliminate billions of dollars of wasted time and resources.”
Though the report specifically highlighted the benefits achieved by companies involved in advanced manufacturing techniques and processes, raised efficiencies and lowered costs could also be realised by those operating in the healthcare, energy and transportation sectors.
The report stated that between 1995 and 2004, US labour productivity increased at twice the rate achieved during the previous 25 years, a fact attributed to the rise of the internet and communication technologies.
Suggesting methods of speeding up progress, Annunziata and his co-author Peter Evans, GE Director of Global Strategy and Analytics, conclude:
“Countries and companies must focus on innovation and invest in deploying the necessary sensors, improve cyber-security and educate a new class of ‘digital-mechanical’ engineers. It will take resources and effort, but the ‘industrial internet’ can transform our industries and lives – pushing the boundaries of minds and machines.”