Sea Change: GE’s French Wind Turbine Factory Will Power Germany’s Renewables Revolution
By Tomas Kellner – GE is a relative newcomer to offshore wind. The company explored the field a decade ago and returned to the industry in 2015, when it acquired the energy assets of Alstom, and built its first wind farm in Long Island Sound near Block Island, Rhode Island, last year. As the inaugural offshore wind farm in the United States, the project made a splash even though it holds just five turbines. But Merkur, which will have 66 turbines, is a much bigger beast. “This one is special,” says Pascal Girault, who runs the Saint-Nazaire plant. “Everything is big.”
Girault spent the early part of his career managing supply chains for the car industry, but ramping up production for Merkur is no Sunday drive. Workers in Saint-Nazaire make generators and assemble nacelles for the 6-megawatt GE Haliade turbine. The nacelle is the casing on top of the tower that shelters the generator and other equipment. It includes some 30,000 components.
Adding to the task’s complexity, the composite blades for the machines’ 150-meter-diameter rotors come from GE’s LM Wind Power factory in Spain. The steel segments for the tower are being made in Germany and China. U.S. and European companies supply electronics and mechanical components for the converter and generator. “The scale and the speed of the project are challenging,” Girault says. more> https://goo.gl/GSScqV
Posted in Construction, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Energy, Nature, Product, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, GE, Industrial economy, Manufacturing, Technology, Wind turbine
Three Reasons Why You Should Invest In Smart Cities Now
By Gary Shapiro – Smart cities are the urban landscapes of the future. Powered by the ubiquitous connectivity of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities collect data on a variety of factors – from pollution to traffic – and employ that data to make cities safer and more sustainable.
By 2050, the majority of the world will be living in cities – now is the time to lay the groundwork for smart building and infrastructure.
City rules shape how energy is used and how buildings are designed. As digital infrastructure evolves, the rules that govern it will become only more complex.
It’s no secret that drawing the best and brightest to a company isn’t just a matter of compensation. The workers who will add the most value over the longer term want to live and work in places that offer them affordable, sustainable housing, timely and safe transportation and a clean and pleasant atmosphere. more> https://goo.gl/AkbCZE
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Construction, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, Leadership, Media, Nature, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Broadband, digital infrastructure, GE, smart building, Smart City
CEO Transition: How Jeff Immelt Reinvented GE
By Dorothy Pomerantz & Matthew Van Dusen – It started with a simple conversation in 2009. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt was at the company’s Global Research headquarters in Niskayuna, New York, chatting with scientists about embedding sensors in jet engines. When jet engines run, they don’t only power planes — they generate trillions of bytes of data that can provide an enormously valuable window into their inner workings. The insights could allow GE to optimize the machines’ operations and even lead to better engines in the future. But what was the company doing with that data?
Soon after that fateful conversation, Immelt set GE on a path to becoming a new kind of enterprise: a digital industrial company that could unlock productivity from connected machines.
The company Immelt is handing over to his successor, John Flannery, is greatly changed from the one he inherited. Immelt transformed the company by spinning off its real estate, financial services and media divisions, including its stake in NBCUniversal, for tens of billions of dollars.
The moves stabilized GE after the 2008 financial crisis. Immelt then strengthened the core of GE by focusing on power infrastructure, buying the energy assets of the leading power company Alstom in 2015 and merging GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes in 2016 to create the world’s largest energy services business. “His enduring legacy is the portfolio transformation,” John Rice says.
Under Immelt, GE also took stands on issues that were important to customers. The company’s Ecomagination initiative helped moved the environment to the top of the corporate agenda. more> https://goo.gl/kdzfHM
Posted in Broadband, Business, Construction, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Leadership, Net, Product, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged CEO transition, connected machines, Energy, GE, optimization, Productivity
Smart Trains And Beyond: GE’s Jamie Miller To Talk Digital Disruption At Tech Confab
By Bruce Watson – Deutsche Bahn Cargo trains crisscross Europe daily carrying everything from coal and steel to cars and cabinets. If a train gets stuck or needs to be taken offline, it can cause problems for the entire system. Now GE digital technology is making the trains smarter and reducing downtime. By tapping sensors embedded on 250 of DB Cargo’s trains, GE will be able to collect several terabytes of data to help keep the trains running efficiently.
Digital transformations like this are the focus of Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech summer retreat this week in Aspen, Colorado. The idea behind Brainstorm is deceptively simple: Gather 600 of the world’s top business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the tech trends that are poised to transform the world. It’s an opportunity to feed innovation, discuss future trends and — in general — find a way to make disruption a little less disrupting.
Digital disruption isn’t only hitting the tech world. We’re seeing it in industry as well. In manufacturing, for example, digital innovations can lead to a difference of billions of dollars in productivity. more> https://goo.gl/DoqxoN
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Leadership, Net, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Brainstorm, Digital transformation, GE, Sensors, Software
Looking For The Unknown: Artificial Intelligence Is Seeking Cancer Patterns That Have Eluded Humans
By Maggie Sieger – The use of AI in healthcare, which was one of the topics discussed at GE’s recent Minds + Machines conference in Berlin, is a fast-growing field. Scientists are using so-called “deep learning networks,” which weave together hundreds, if not thousands, of data points and process this data with multiple algorithms simultaneously, mimicking the human brain.
When crossing the street, pedestrians take into account dozens of factors, including the number and speed of approaching cars, the condition of the pavement, fellow travelers and even the shoes they are wearing or what they are carrying. Deep learning has the potential to do the same thing – but with even more data points and at speeds unmatched by humans.
They are feeding millions of data points into the cloud, including decades of colorectal data collected by national registries, thousands of MRIs and CT scans, gene panels and biomarkers. The software then looks for patterns, connections and correlations with a speed and detail unmatched by humans.
As AI becomes a more common tool in healthcare, medical schools will have to change how they train physicians to make sure they have the new capabilities, skill sets and methodologies to use AI effectively, more> https://goo.gl/2kME5a
Posted in Economy, Education, Healthcare, History, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Artificial intelligence, Brain, Deep learning networks, GE, Medical diagnosis
Flesh Memory: This Company Uploaded The Heart Into The Cloud
By Tomas Kellner – Beckers is the CEO of Arterys, a company using deep learning and artificial intelligence to process data generated by medical imaging machines. Its cloud-based algorithms can show doctors blood flow details that were once impossible to see. “We want to enable data-driven medicine,” Beckers says.
“The goal is to build an intelligent platform that helps physicians diagnose ailments and prescribe the most effective treatment. Cloud computing and artificial intelligence have this transformative power.”
With conventional technology, it takes about an hour to obtain cardiac MRI images, Beckers says, and patients frequently have to hold their breath for up to 20 seconds during a scan. “This can be a major obstacle for imaging small children or patients with severe heart problems,” he says. But with advancements in GE’s MRI scanners, the scanning time can be less than 10 minutes and the patient can breathe normally, making MRI a quicker and a more comfortable process.
Within minutes of acquiring a 4D flow MRI scan, physicians can evaluate data in seven dimensions — three in space, one in time, and three in velocity direction — and see actual blood flow in the heart as a 3D image. “Arterys provides the most comprehensive view of blood flow and heart function,” Beckers says. more> https://goo.gl/5FyrYW
Posted in Broadband, Economic development, Education, Healthcare, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Blood flow, Cloud computing, GE, Heart, MRI
Laser Focus: See How One 3D-Printing Pioneer Is Heating Up Industry
By Tomas Kellner – Frank Herzog is the founder and CEO of Concept Laser, a pioneering maker of 3D printing machines. Concept Laser’s printers can produce precise hip joint replacements and surgical tools as well entire engine blocks. Last fall, GE acquired a majority stake in Herzog’s company, and Concept Laser is now part of GE Additive, a new GE business dedicated to supplying 3D printers, materials and engineering consulting services.
In 2016, Concept Laser sold more than 150 , and Hund says 750 Concept Laser machines are in service worldwide. With GE Additive, these numbers will grow even faster. In fact, Herzog and his colleagues are now helping GE design the world’s largest 3D printer for metals.
Back To The Future: This Plane Will Make The Jet Set Feel Supersonic Again
By Tomas Kellner – The Concorde, the iconic pointy-nosed supersonic jet that shuttled passengers between Paris, London, New York and other choice destinations, landed for the last time 14 years ago, after 27 years in service. The only civil supersonic airplane to enter service apart from Russia’s TU-144 jet, the plane was never replaced.
“The Concorde was successful from a technical standpoint, but in terms of economics, it was too expensive to operate, its range was limited, it was noisy and its fuel consumption was high,” says Jeff Miller, vice president of marketing at the U.S. aircraft design firm Aerion.
But engineers at Aerion are working to change that. They’ve spent the last 15 years developing AS2, a supersonic jet that could carry up to 12 people in high comfort from London to Seattle, Miller says. “We’ve been focusing on improving efficiency so we can lower the cost of operations and extend the range of the plane so it’s not limited to just barely getting across the Atlantic,” he says. “Now you’ve got an airplane that will really take you places.” more> https://goo.gl/fsVmmR
Posted in Business, Economic development, Energy & emissions, History, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Concorde, GE, Jet engine, Supersonic flight, TU-144
Renewable Energy Makes Things Tough On The Grid, But New Software Could Help
By Bruce Watson – In 2016, more than two-thirds of power in Europe came from nonrenewable sources. Globally, renewables are expected to reach parity with coal and gas around 2040.
Nevertheless, the speed with which intermittent renewables — the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow — are coming on board is making it harder for European utilities to balance the grid. That’s because the grid, as large as it is, is also a delicate system where supply must match demand at all times or there’s a risk of blackouts.
In France, for example, strong winds in the north mixed with a sunny week on the Riviera in the south can lead to a surfeit of electricity that puts the balance at risk.
The intermittency also makes profits hard to find, with European utilities on average struggling to increase profits 1 percent in 2016. Countries around the world are watching how Europe uses thermal generation to keep the grid balanced; prioritizes low-cost, clean and renewable energy; and keeps utilities profitable amid a rapidly changing energy network. more> https://goo.gl/iC532f
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, EARTH WATCH, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Nature, Technology
Tagged Black out, Climate change, Electricity grid, GE, Power generation, Renewal energy
The Time To Invent The Technologies That Will Power Our Future Is Now
By David Danielson – The year 2050 sounds pretty far away, doesn’t it? But in terms of the world our children and grandchildren will inherit, 2050 is today: it’s right around the corner.
By 2050, there will be almost 10 billion people on Earth, one-third more than there are today, with essentially all of this population growth predicted to be in currently less-wealthy nations around the world. And the approximately 9 billion people living in these nations in 2050 will be hungry to consume more energy, requiring an almost doubling of energy usage per person to achieve a good standard of living by some estimates.
At the same time, the world’s best scientists have determined that we must simultaneously reduce our global greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050, relative to today’s levels, in order to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.
Scaling and improving today’s clean energy technologies can take us part of the way to the future we all want. Technologies like wind power, solar power, LEDs, electric vehicle batteries, and many others are already rapidly approaching widespread cost-competitiveness with traditional forms of energy.
But these technologies alone will not be enough: it has become clear now that to provide universal energy access around the world while simultaneously achieving required emissions reductions, we must unleash an unprecedented Energy Innovation Revolution today – and over the next few years – to develop the transformative new energy technologies that will be needed to close the gap between the 2050 we are headed for and the 2050 we want. more> https://goo.gl/57jCZr
Posted in Business, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Clean energy, Climate change, GE, Paris Agreement, Population