GE factories are becoming more efficient by being “brilliant” and so are the buildings that house these operations.
The world is changing, and we have more access to data than ever before. This data can provide valuable insights that impact the decisions we’re making every day.
GE has been leading this charge with Brilliant Factories, a sophisticated factory that combines lean manufacturing with advanced software analytics to enhance productivity.
This idea of brilliance is expanding, meaning more than just our manufacturing can benefit from these tools. Behold, Brilliant Facilities.
What is a brilliant facility?
Think of a Brilliant Factory – optimized production lines, data collection, digital feedback – and then consider how these same principles can make the actual building more efficient.
Instead of optimizing a product line, Brilliant Facilities optimize daily operations, such as the heating, lighting and general maintenance of a facility.
At their core, Brilliant Facilities use sensors and automation to make GE safer and more cost-efficient, using systems like upgraded controls, automated scheduling, optimized start-stop control, carbon-dioxide sensors and more.
How do Brilliant Facilities make a difference?
In the past, routine maintenance was scheduled based on the amount of time a piece of equipment had been in use. Now, with condition-based maintenance, upgraded sensors alert the team that maintenance is necessary based on data that tracks part condition. This not only eliminates unnecessary work orders (i.e. replacement of a part before it has truly run its lifecycle), but also reduced costs and fewer safety risks as a result.
“Consider, for example, HVAC Filters at GE Aviation’s Evendale, Ohio headquarters,” says Rick Harbison, senior global facilities engineer. “Before the integration of data into maintenance decision-making, there were about 500 air filter changes per month. This alone required about 20 tradesmen for 40 hours per month, which added up to $384,000 a year. Now, with installed digital sensors directly tied to the plant systems, there are digital displays to track filters, sending automated text messages to maintenance employees when a change is required.
In 2016 alone, this change eliminated approximately 3,800 high-risk hours and resulted in $153,000 in cost savings.”
In addition, activating more energy efficient systems and upgrading the controls led to a nearly 50 percent increase in energy savings.
What else could be “brilliant”?
Brilliant Factories and Brilliant Facilities are just the start of GE’s digital transformation. Employees across the Aviation business are focused every day on how to think and work differently, using data analysis, collaboration and innovative thinking to solve new problems for GE, its customers and the world.
Take a tour of one of GE Aviation’s Brilliant Factories with this 360-degree video: