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Catch of the Week

Warning: Faulty Fuel Valve!

Warning: Feed Pump Bearing Problem!

Warning: Rising Exhaust Gas Temperature!

It happens like clockwork. Every Friday afternoon, I get an email warning of a serious and potentially costly impending failure in a mission-critical asset. The kind of failure that could grind operations to a halt. The kind of failure that could cost millions of dollars, create days of lost availability, or even injure or kill someone.

The good news is that none of these failures ever actually happen because they were caught early using predictive analytics. The emails are GE’s Catch of the Week updates…descriptions of instances where GE customers averted disaster by using GE’s Industrial Performance and Reliability Center (IPRC) to monitor their most critical assets.

The IPRC’s small team of experienced maintainers and analysts uses GE’s SmartSignal predictive analytics software to help identify equipment anomalies early, diagnose the cause, and suggest steps that maintainers in the field can take to resolve the issue.

I’ve written previously about the value of remote monitoring and diagnostics but these emails show that value in real examples written in plain English. Each Catch of the Week email answers three questions:

  • What did SmartSignal find? This section describes the data anomalies that triggered investigation by the IPRC staff. On the second page you get to see the actual data the analyst and customer looked at when they discussed the anomaly.
  • What was the underlying cause? Here we learn about what the on-site maintenance team discovered when, after coaching from the IPRC staff, they investigated the issue.
  • What was the value to the client? Finally, the IPRC team describes and attempts to quantify the value from catching the problem early. Oftentimes these values can run into the millions and occasionally tens of millions of dollars. 

Catch of the Week

Catch of the Week

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Todd Stiefler

Todd joined GE from the world of Washington politics, and in no time at all has moved on to his second assignment, which sees him managing business development for the services GE is increasingly looking to offer to customers, including the Proficy SmartSignal predictive analytics software.

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