in the past year, General Electric (GE) presented an important paper called "Unleashing The Industrial Internet: Pushing the Boundaries of Minds and Machines" . That topic was also discussed last week in London during "Minds + Machines Europe 2013". Blue Yonder CEO Uwe Weiss was there as an invited guest.
GE is currently a topic of conversation in Europe when the discussion turns to the "industrial internet", as it is called, and the industrial internet has become one of the hot topics for industry over the past few months. Organizational units at the Frauenhofer Institute, at Bitkom and at the German industry association VDMA all are intensively working out how Web applications and Big Data analyses can be used in industry. At Blue Yonder, some very skilled data scientists are already working on concrete use cases and how the predictive analysis of sensor data in built-in vehicle parts can be used at the customer site.
Europe and Big Data: a lot of potential, but still not fully exploited
GE also recognizes this European potential. A paper entitled "The Industrial Internet: A European Perspective" says so: "Some European countries, notably Germany, have powerful industrial sectors." In our recent white paper, we show how diverse industry sectors such as the auto industry, the machine and equipment sector and the entire manufacturing sector can use industrial Big Data. The authors of the GE paper think that it is critical to the success of Europe that the continent grows together to become an integrated and digital economic power.
Economic success and the success of innovative technologies will no doubt depend on cross-border collaboration. With that in mind, GE references a Big Data analytics project at a Swedish hospital group. The doctors there are able to gain extensive information through the introduction of Big Data analytics and also are able to consult directly with foreign medical experts. The clinic management has estimated that every year, approximately 40,000 online consultations (tele-radiology) have been carried out. Interlinked digitally across borders, the hospitals are able to save several days or even weeks in their treatments.
International race teams
GE uses a prominent example to show where this digital interlinking can lead: The Caterham Formula 1 team used a Big Data analysis to considerably boost its race-day performance. There are 150 sensors built into a single Formula 1 car and they produce 20 gigabytes of data on a race weekend. The quicker that the future behavior of the car in a specific situation can be forecast, the more successfully the entire team will be. I like this image of Caterham: what it is that companies ultimately can do with Big Data depends on the team's spirit, on the driver on the track, the engineers during the race, and on the individual mechanics in the pit stop.