GE Intelligent Platforms (NYSE: GE) today announced progress against plans for consolidation of the company’s control platforms to enable the Industrial Internet. The company’s convergence strategy starts with standardization on open systems across the platforms to provide customers with interoperability, secure communications and an optimal user experience (UX).
GE Intelligent Platforms investment in a single integrated architecture features modular components, an Ethernet backbone and software applications all based on industry standards. As convergence continues, Connected Controls devices will enable more power at the point of control, while software applications provide local intelligence to deliver on the principles of the Industrial Internet and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications.
“Seamless communications, more efficient configuration and a great human experience are the foundation of the Industrial Internet,” said Bernie Anger, General Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms’ Controls & Communications Systems business. “Open standard protocols, high-performance controllers, shared system-level configuration tools and file formats that enable self-assembling nodes, and UX standards for tool and application development are going to allow customers to get connected faster and easier.”
OPC-UA is the first open systems standard to be deployed across GE’s control platforms. It is the next generation Open Productivity & Connectivity standard that provides a cohesive, secure and reliable cross platform framework for access to real time and historical data and events. GE’s Connected Controls platforms, featuring the popular PACSystems and Mark*VIe controllers, as well as Proficy® CIMPLICITY HMI/SCADA software are rolling out with the OPC-UA standard. Additionally, the two largest open I/O standards, PROFINET and Foundation Fieldbus (Mark*VIe only), have been fully integrated in the controllers.
“A focus on standards keeps us positioned for continuous evolution,” said Anger. “OPC-UA provides flexibility of configuration and device interoperability, and smart and secure communications across solutions. This enables the analytics that fuel the brilliant machines in today’s connected world.”
GE’s efforts to bring all of the control platforms across GE together into a single integrated architecture will provide customers with broader reach and system impact through:
- Enterprise visibility – information flows from the device to the enterprise as application and device data is available from bottom to top of industrial control systems
- Interoperability – a common architecture and standard suite of communication protocols as well as deterministic and enterprise buses bring solution scale to business
- “Interdesignability” – Translation and convergence of design tools and model libraries accelerate productivity and quality
And to facilitate the optimal user experience that customers are demanding today, the platforms will build on technologies recently announced by GE’s Software Center called Predix™, a first-of-its-kind industrial-strength software platform that provides a standard and secure way to connect machines, industrial big data and people. Predix combines technologies for distributed computing and analytics, asset management, machine-to-machine communication and mobility that can run on-premise or in the cloud. New solutions that leverage the platform will be able to easily integrate with customers’ existing software and data management infrastructure to increase productivity, reduce waste and improve business operations.