General Electric Co. is joining with Accenture Plc to use data-gathering sensors to help predict when airplanes need maintenance, reducing delays and cutting carriers’ costs.
The partnership is one of nine initiatives GE will unveil tomorrow in San Francisco with customers from Norfolk Southern Corp. to Royal Dutch Shell Plc, all focused on harvesting and analyzing information from industrial equipment to help increase productivity.
GE, the world’s largest manufacturer of jet engines, diesel locomotives and medical-imaging equipment, said the new products will help it make more money from service contracts on its products. They’ll also help reduce waste in industries from manufacturing to subsea drilling by as much as $150 billion over 15 years, the company said.
GE is investing $1 billion in the so-called industrial Internet, centered around a new software development facility in San Ramon, California, where it has poached employees from technology firms including Cisco Systems Inc. and Symantec Corp. The offerings will add to existing products that monitor the performance of wind turbines and help coordinate rail traffic.
Other initiatives include software that optimizes hospital bed assignments and departmental work flow, an algorithm that analyzes airline operation data to reduce fuel consumption, technology that helps manage power-generation equipment in response to electricity demand, and software that monitors deep-sea drilling equipment, GE said.
Service contracts on GE equipment brought in $42 billion of revenue last year, or 45 percent of its $94 billion in industrial sales.