GE Digital has expanded its industrial internet partnership with Microsoft, according to Reuters.
The two companies had already been working together on further developing GE Digital’s Predix platform.
Manufacturers tend to connect sensors to their machines and then connect the sensors to Predix.
Predix collects the data on the performance of those machines which can be used to monitor the health of those machines.
This way, manufacturers can avoid or manage downtime rather than have to cope with unexpected technical problems which can cost time and money.
The type of industries in which Predix has been doing particularly well include aerospace and oil and gas.
Microsoft has a massive cloud computing infrastructure, with its numerous data centres, interconnections between those data centres, and its subsea cables, which would provide Predix with the necessary hardware for large, international operations.
Reuters says the expansion of the partnership between the two companies was agreed at GE Digital’s Minds + Machines event earlier this week, and announced yesterday by Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital.
GE Digital claims Predix was the first industrial internet of things platform when it was launched last year.
But since last year, numerous other companies have launched similar platforms, a list of which can be found here.
Many different cloud services can be customised to monitor machines. However, industrial companies tend to use a different type of Ethernet connection and a variety of standards, so it has particular networking requirements.
Speaking to Robotics and Automation News earlier this year, Sanjay Ravi, managing director, discrete manufacturing, automotive and electronics, Microsoft, said the company’s Azure cloud platform can help achieve significant efficiency gains for IIoT operations.
Ravi said: “We have the platform, data management tools, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, which they can use to develop their own IP, which they will own – their own services from a software perspective which they will own – which they can monetise.”