GE seeks engineers to build ‘industrial internet’
NEW YORK: General Electric Co (GE) is hiring thousands of engineers near San Francisco in a push to connect everything from jet engines to medical-imaging machines to the Web and help customers run equipment more efficiently.
“We’ve opened a software centre in East Bay, hiring thousands of software engineers to basically bring all the great innovation you’ve seen in Silicon Valley now to industry,” Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer at GE, said at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit in Half Moon Bay, California.
Comstock said GE is developing an “industrial Internet,” building networks that harvest data from commercial machines and offering services to help customers analyse the resulting reams of information.
GE said last year that it was investing US$1 billion in a facility in San Ramon and hiring engineers from Oracle, SAP and Symantec as well as Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Chief executive officer Jeff Immelt has stressed the savings potential from using data to tweak machines, saying that even a 1 per cent improvement in the operations of commercial aircraft would translate into US$2 billion less per year in fuel costs for GE’s customers in the airline industry.
As Connecticut-based GE adds sensors to jet engines, the next step is to help customers analyse all the resulting data, Comstock said.
“We probably haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to data when machines start talking to machines and machines start talking to people,” Comstock said. “We have to make sense of it.”