GE taking IIoT to the next level in China
US conglomerate General Electric Co has launched its first Asian digital foundry in Shanghai to support the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in China.
IIoT refers to the integration of machinery with big data and the Internet of Things.
The 4,000-square-meter foundry, located in GE’s Shanghai campus in Zhangjiang of Pudong district, is designed to incubate startups, improve collaboration and drive ecosystem growth. It will also enable the company to fast track more than 10 digital industrial pilot programs and 40 big data analytics applications it is currently operating in China.
These pilot projects cover GE’s key vertical sectors such as aviation, healthcare, power and intelligent environment and will serve as test beds for full-scale industrial solutions for Chinese customers.
The facility is the first of its kind in Asia and the second of four foundries to be opened this year, following the GE Digital Foundry in Paris last month. Developed with an investment of $11 million, the Shanghai foundry is set to welcome more than 1,000 developers over the next few years and generate more than 200 jobs.
The facility will also serve as a platform where GE’s customers, partners and thirdparty developers can share resources and contribute to the expanding digital industrial ecosystem supported by Predix, GE’s operating system for the Industrial Internet, as well as Predix.io, which allows third-party software engineers to leverage the platform’s capabilities to build, deploy and scale Industrial Internet applications within a safe and secure developer environment.
“Today, Industrial Internet is profoundly transforming the global industry and how industrial companies operate. Building GE’s digital industrial presence in China is one of our key strategic priorities in the market,” said Rachel Duan, president & CEO, GE China.
GE also announced on July 20 the establishment of an alliance with Huawei. The US conglomerate will tap into the Chinese company’s proven track record of information communications technology (ICT) to help accelerate the development of innovative Industrial Internet applications that will support China’s industrial transformation.
“By collaborating with GE, we are able to provide our customers with an E2E industrial IoT solution to help accelerate their success. In this market, Huawei will continue its strategy of being open and integrated to provide customers with the connectivity of their industrial assets and devices,” said William Xu, Huawei executive director of the board and chief strategy marketing officer.
Boasting strong government support and substantial private investment, China’s Internet of Things (IoT) market is expected to hit $166 billion by 2020. GE said that it is looking to expand its Digital Alliance Program in China to help scale the reach of Industrial Internet.
The company will also invest more than $20 million over the next two years to further boost its technical and commercial capabilities in China.
In addition, GE Power has introduced its new Digital Power Plant for Steam to potential Chinese customers. The suite of technologies could play a significant role in helping the country dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving the performance and efficiency of coal-fired steam power plants.
China led important changes in 2015 to raise the average net efficiency of its entire coal fleet to 39 percent.
“The world is going to need 50 percent more power in the next 20 years and it will need to be affordable, accessible, reliable and sustainable,” said Steve Bolze, CEO and president of GE Power.
“Digitizing and decarbonizing coal are two of the most effective actions we can take in order to meet these needs and achieve the Paris COP21 goals, and we have an opportunity today to help shape the future of power generation in China. We are excited about bringing the Digital Power Plant for Steam to the region.”
In December last year, 195 countries adopted the firstever universal, legally binding deal on climate change known as COP21 in Paris. According to the deal, the nations agree to work toward several measures to limit global warming.
GE said that its Digital Power Plant for Steam can provide 1.5 percentage points higher efficiency while reducing unplanned downtime by 5 percent and CO2 emissions by 3 percent for a typical 1000 MW plant in China, compared to a plant without GE’s Predixenabled technologies.
These gains can lead to 350 million yuan ($52.3 million) in incremental value over the lifetime of a plant, lower CO2 emissions and reduce coal usage by 35,000 tons annually.