Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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GE Predix IIoT to Offer Integrated Field Service/Asset Performance Management 

(Source: Shutterstock/branislavpudar)

For each front-line combat soldier there are 10 soldiers laboring behind the lines on logistics and supplies, so goes the military axiom; similarly, it’s been observed that for every salesperson pushing product for a manufacturing company there’s a field service technician maintaining those products in the field. For “asset intensive” industries, maintaining equipment is a hugely complex operational challenge upon which much depends, including customer retention.

Today at GE’s Minds + Machines conference in Berlin, GE and ServiceMax announced the integration of the cloud-based ServiceMax field service management (FSM) solution with GE’s predictive, AI-based Asset Performance Management (APM) portfolio on GE’s Predix Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform. ServiceMax, acquired in January by GE, was named a leader (along with Oracle Field Service Cloud, among others) in Gartner Group’s field service management Magic Quadrant report last November.

“We’re taking advantage of the power of the Predix platform,” said Dave Yarnold, CEO of ServiceMax in a phone interview with EnterpriseTech, “to transform how companies predict, manage and service equipment through the entire asset lifecycle. Understanding the data, coming up with strategies around the data and then the ability to take all that info, make predictions about maintenance and service, and then pass that over to a service execution system… We’re leveraging both of these solutions (ServiceMax and APM), bringing them together for something that’s not been done before in the asset operations space.”

Yarnold said within typical industrial service models, companies can’t combine insights from data with actions in real time, resulting in unplanned downtime that has significant impact on industrial productivity. He said the intent of the ServiceMax-APM integration on Predix is to shift from a “reactive, break/fix service model to a predictive model.”

The combined FSM-APM offering will automatically collect and analyze service data – from predictive maintenance needs to failure information and recommended work actions while providing scheduling capabilities and matching customers’ service workforces with their service needs.

“It will help industrial companies dispatch the right engineers to the right job at the right time, and ensure they are qualified, prepared and equipped to successfully complete their work,” Yarnold said. “Receiving updates from workers in the field, the software provides a closed loop from issue identification to resolution, while learning about the most efficient issue resolution methods over time to improve analytics with each alert.”

Formed in 2007, the ServiceMax platform has approximately 400 customers with implementations at about 2000 sites globally tracking 120 million assets and more than 50 million contracts and warranties, Yarnold said. Customers include Pitney Bowes, Tyco, Schneider Electric, Carrier and, pre-acquisition, GE.

“The Industrial Internet is enabling companies to take advantage of possibilities that previously seemed out of reach,” said Bill Ruh, CEO, GE Digital.” But in many ways, we are still in the early stages of this transformation journey as companies seek to move from gaining insight to taking action and as automation gives way to autonomous systems. GE Digital is helping companies use technology and information to transform how they operate and create new possibilities – from delivering the industrial service model of the future to creating entirely new business models.”

The ServiceMax-Predix unveiling took place even as GE announced on Monday that the industrial conglomerate’s long-time CEO, Jeff Immelt, was stepping down. In other news at M+M this week, GE Ventures launched Avitas Systems, a new venture that will offer inspection services with advanced robotics, data analytics and artificial intelligence; and GE Power released Predix-powered ‘Digital Utility’ to connect real-time machine and operations data with energy trading to drive more profitable utilities businesses.

 

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