Futurism: GE Plans Automated Internet Notices from Failing Products

December 1, 2012 | Filed Under Business, Capitalism, Computers, Economy/Finances, Free Trade, Inernet, Jobs, Technology, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

General Electric has its eye on the future and the manufacturing giant feels the future will take the form of an “industrial Internet” that will alert both users and the manufacturers when products are breaking down or coming to the end of a life cycle. This will mean that GE will be able to fix or replace products before they even break down an idea that might curtail downtime as airplanes, trains, power generators and the like can be repaired before any actual trouble arises.

In a new report touting its “industrial Internet” system, GE claimed that even a 1 percent increase in efficiency by avoiding downtime will pay big dividends. As The Wall Street Journal’s Rachel King reports, this industrial Internet, “has the potential to add $10-$15 trillion to global GDP by 2030… According to the report, a 1% increase in efficiency generated … can mean savings of $30 billion in aviation, $66 billion in power generation and $63 billion in healthcare over 15 years.”

Supporters say that the constant updates generated from equipment over such an industrial Internet will help engineers and scientists better understand their products and improve safety and efficiency on into the future.

Of course, this means that a wide array of products will soon come complete with Ethernet ports to be connected to an Internet hub so manufacturers can remotely check on machines and analyze their condition.

The idea here isn’t completely new, of course. Many industrial products are already connected to the Internet linking customer and manufacturer alike.

For instance, Kodak’s industrial and commercial printing machinery have already been connected to the Internet for more than a decade. When customers have trouble with platemaking machines or printing presses and other devices, they call into Kodak’s Canada-based 24-hour repair service and a diagnosis of the problem can be made over the Internet. Sometimes repairs can even be made without requiring an in-person service visit.

The WSJ also notes that the rail industry has been utilizing Internet-based repair diagnosis for sometime and to great effect.

Union Pacific, the nation’s largest railroad company, can now predict certain kinds of derailments days or weeks before they are likely to occur. The program analyzes data from acoustic and visual sensors on the underside of each rail car. While those sensors have been in place for a decade, they’ve only been able to help technicians spot imminent problems with tracks and wheels. Now, with predictive analytics, the company can spot dangerous conditions well in advance of a problem…

But one thing that neither GE’s new report nor industry insiders have addressed is the increasing fear of hacking. Cyber security, especially in transportation, power providers, and hospitals, is a real worry.

The biggest threat isn’t likely that machines will rise up against humanity in the manner of the Terminator’s Skynet. Rather, it’s that connecting these systems using standard communication technologies, such as the Internet Protocol, make it more likely that those systems will be attacked successfully. Chevron, Saudi Aramco, Rasgas and other companies have been hit by cyberattacks in recent years, but have been able to largely contain any damages and to keep them from impacting their production networks.

Certainly as more machines are linked to the Internet, hackers and cyber attackers will pose a greater threat. Clearly more work must be put into the idea of an industrial Internet, but benefits could be tremendous.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Comment

If you would like to make a comment, please register to do so. I hate to do that but there are so many spam-bots out there that deleting spam comments would be a full time job if I were to just open it up for anyone without asking them to jump through a few hoops first.

You must be registered and logged in to post a comment. Anyone can register. No registrant's information is kept, used, or sold. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Social Networking

Help the Soldiers!

American Genius

Our Founding Ideas

"Governments are instituted among men,deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a reader

Recently Written

  • A Growing Number of Teen Girls in West Volunteering for Islamist Terror Group ISIS
  • Populist Hillary To Award Clinton Foundation Honors to Leo DiCaprio at Gala
  • Still a Slavish Flack: Carney Blames TV Networks for Fewer Obama Speeches
  • Chicago’s Emanuel May Find His Millions Won’t Save His Re-Election
  • [VIDEO] Hotonomics: Big Gov’t Vs Small Govt Knockout
  • Illinois Worst Again With Highest Home Foreclosure Rate in Nation
  • Illinois Website Beats Attempt to Silence its News Coverage
  • Ted Cruz Does Right–Walks Out on Mid Eastern Scumbags Claiming to be Christians
  • Cities That Have Used Military Equipment for Riot Control Might Owe Feds Millions
  • Many Want to Forget 9/11–But We Must NEVER Forget!

  • What THEY Say:
    Foreign News In English

    Click HERE for information
    on my fedora collection.
    Antique Stetsons, hat history...

    Contact Us

    Email Publius' Forum


  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005

  • Add to Technorati Favorites

    Clicky Web Analytics