Chuck, I expect that small and mid-sized suppliers in the industries you mention will be the first to really pick up on this. As the technology becomes more proven, even large enterprises will begin to use them.
As for industries, I think that automotive will be among the first, followed by aerospace. Medical device manufacturers are a lesser player, but look for them to begin to take up this approach as well.
I think a lot of the larger OEMs in core industries like aerospace and automotive are already building out their own private cloud infrastructures to support mainstream business applications. A cloud-based environment is perfect for global collaboration, since the services (the new terms for applications or software) are Web based, thus allowing people to tap in from wherever they are working as long as they have a browser-based connection. The question is will engineering departments hop on board the trend and let their core development platforms be migrated to the private cloud. I guess that depends on how involved enterprise IT is in overseeing engineering software--that isn't always the case. As for the cloud-based CAE capabilities that Lou mentioned, those will be a definite mainstay, mostly delivered by the vendors and potentially larger firms that will host their proprietary simulations applications in their private or hybrid clouds.
Louis, great summary of the thoughts that are driving where we are taking the GE Intelligent Platforms cloud offering. In response to a few of the blog posts regarding "who adopts" we are getting good response across industries. The "connected" concept resonates best with people that have geo-distributed applications. This could be in infrastructure (like the water example given) or OEMs that provide a combination of equipment & supplies as part of their offering. Digital content management & collaboration are seen as good supporting capabilities. Small/mid companies appear willing to jump on a public cloud first, as they have the need & typically don't have matching capabilities in house.
Is the "connected" concept you talk about referring to machine-2-machine (M2M) applications or the so-called "Internet of things?" Could you provide an example of an automation system based on the new GE platform and how it operates using the new cloud connected capabilities?
Beth, I think that M2M and the Internet of Things is basically the same thing. M2M really refers to the fact that the machines are not set up to communicate directly to humans. It is a term used when talking mostly about the protocols required. The Internet of Things also refers to machines talking to machines, but the idea is that of lots of devices connected through the Internet whether they talk to humans or not. While M2M does not require the Internet, for practical purposes the Internet will be the communication medium used.
When we refer to the "Industrial Internet" we like thinking of a system that encompases machines, users and the cloud. Machines have the ability to connect with each other, provide content to the cloud & consume content from the cloud + present relevant information to the user based on that user's profile.
To make this easier to achieve at the point of control we are adding new set of capabilities around connectivity & content management to the control system. Historically control system connectivity has required a fair amount of application knowledge at both ends of the connection to ensure the right information gets exchanged. We find that as people connect more control systems together into networks & expect to run new applications against those control systems the point-to-point model doesn't scale well
Protocols are certainly one aspect of this, as is security ... and we are embracing open standards whenever possible for both of these.
As for examples, we are a bit early in our delivery process for this technology to have meaningful deployed applications in customer hands ... would love an opportunity to answer your question again at the start of the new year.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.