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Giving Factories a Voice in the Age of the Industrial Internet

Joseph Salvo (GE Global Research)
Location: Festival Pavilion
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Imagine a world where we will know in an instant everything there is to know about a product – what day it was made, the health of the equipment that produced it, how it was made, who mode it, its entire genealogy, manufacturing history, and use profile. We will be able to correlate the variations in manufacturing and usage to
product performance, accelerate learning, and ultimately provide customers with a better experience. Welcome to a revolution in the making that threatens to shatter
classic production-line business models, and create a new-age environment, which bears little resemblance to the manufacturing floors of the post.
It’s about small, nimble manufacturing operations using highly sophisticated new tools and new materials. And the convergence of software and hardware,
technological advances, and the collection of huge amounts of data along the way are all paving the way for managing manufacturing processes with a whole new level
of precision. By far the most significant of these steps forward is additive manufacturing—making a three-dimensional object of virtually any shape from a
digital model.

To better understand the road ahead, we will highlight GE’s 200,000 sq. ft. battery
plant in Schenectady, New York as an approach to advanced manufacturing in the
age of the Industrial Internet. At the plant, there are more than 10,000 installed sensors connected to a high-speed Ethernet network to monitor every aspect of the
manufacturing process. The plant manager runs the entire operation—from lights to heat to inventory to purchasing and maintenance—from an iPad, to get a real-time
stream of data from wireless sensors embedded in each product rolling off the line to monitor real-time production and to help predict what might go wrong. This evolution of a world that works better, faster, safer, and cleaner, is expected to drive significant
productivity. For instance, the battery plant is expected to be $500 million dollars by 2016 and a billion dollars by 2020.

Photo of Joseph Salvo

Joseph Salvo

GE Global Research

Joseph J. Salvo,
Director, Industrial Internet
Manager – Complex Systems Engineering Laboratory
GE Global Research
Niskayuna, NY, USA
M. Phil. Ph.D. Yale University
A.B. Harvard University

Dr. Salvo joined the GE Global Research Center in 1988. His early work focused on the development of genetically modified bacteria and fungus, for the production of novel high performance polymers via large-scale fermentation with renewable feed stocks.

For the past 15 years Dr. Salvo and his laboratory have developed a series of large-scale internet-based sensing arrays to manage and oversee business systems and deliver value-added services.

Some of the many commercial business releases include complex decision platforms (e.g. GE Veriwise™ GE RailwiseTM, Global Vendor Managed Inventory, Ener.GE™, and E-Materials Management) that deliver near real-time customer value through system transparency and knowledge-based computational algorithms. Many of the commercial start-ups were based on innovative recurring revenue business models that delivered critical information for near-real time decisioning on a global basis. For example, over $I trillion dollars of retail goods have been tracked (on commercial trailers) with the Veriwise system since it’s release in 2004.

Pervasive networked sensors systems combined with near-real time collaboration can deliver time-critical, high fidelity data to enable information analysis across traditional business process boundaries. Total supply chain, energy management and financial services can be integrated to create a virtual enterprise environment that encourages discovery and process improvement on a global basis. Electronic RFID tagging and distributed knowledge networks extend the reach of these systems with anywhere/anytime access to mission critical information.

Crowdsourcing and cloud computing platforms promise to further democratize the flow of information, computation and ideas. Commercial business implementations of this work are currently active in Asia, Europe as well as North and South America.

Recently he has begun to help define a next generation internet called the “Industrial Internet” from both a technological and business perspective.

Dr. Salvo currently has 15 U.S. patents with more than 15 others pending.

He is a member of the board at the M.I.T. Forum for Supply Chain Innovation and the
IEEE Computer Society.