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GE Transportation CEO Jamie Miller’s GE 2015 Annual Report Letter

GE released the 2015 Annual Report today. This year’s report is focused on the digital transformation of GE. As part of this year’s report, the CEO of every GE business wrote a letter to share their view of this strategic shift and their vision for the future. GE Transportation CEO Jamie Miller shares how digital is a game changer across our business.

What digital industrial means for my business, and how we are driving it?

By Jamie Miller, CEO of GE Transportation

Industry Need

Digital is a game changer—one of the biggest strategic shifts of our lifetime. Everything is being transformed.  Mobile tools are enabling a better way to perform locomotive service, analytics and software are facilitating smarter maintenance and longer uptime, and embedded software and controls are delivering game changing equipment performance.  And the greater our own knowledge of how our products and industries are performing, the better we can serve each customer.

Our Solution

Through digital technology, we are able to bring direct and immediate improvements to our customer’s operations. A few examples:

On our Tier 4 locomotive, the “smartest” on the market, more than 200 onboard sensors process over a billion instructions per second.

Our smart locomotives evaluate mission-critical data such as train length and weight, track conditions and grade, and driver response time to determine the optimal and most fuel-efficient way to run.  Our Trip Optimizer product brings 7-9% fuel efficiency to our customers, and this year reached 100 million auto-control miles.  That alone has saved customers some 56 million gallons of fuel and $197 million in fuel costs, while reducing greenhouse gases by 628 kilotons.

Our Movement Planner software solution looks at a railroad’s entire network and optimizes the routing of trains for improved capacity and velocity, without laying new track and infrastructure. It provides real-time train re-routing and network optimization based on current traffic and events.

Inside our business, digital has transformed how we work—giving us greater speed and agility, a laser-focus on driving impact—and has evolved our culture.

In our factories, we have sensor-enabled machines and we leverage standard global systems.  We are eliminating re-work, optimally routing repairs, reducing downtime and improving quality. This means better service to our customers and greater productivity all around. A good example is placing sensors on critical equipment to monitor vibration; by doing so we’ve eliminated machine downtime, yielding productivity gains of 10-15% in those parts of the factory.

With our Services teams, we are increasingly leveraging a computer-based Digital Twin of our equipment to analyze individual asset performance, prevent failure modes and optimize maintenance throughout its life.

Because we already know the condition of locomotive engines through our digital models, we can route them for remanufacturing based solely on what needs to be repaired, rather than using a standard full remanufacturing spec for every engine. In our customers’ service shops, we know the exact maintenance to perform on a locomotive before it even comes in for repair.

Changing Our Culture

At GE Transportation, digital is not just another function; it is a driving mission of the entire business. Digital is at the core of our DNA, and it is being infused into every part of how we work and how we think.

We are breaking free of our traditional “functions,” with mission-based and agile teams—teams with singular purpose, empowered to leverage any discipline in our business to achieve their mission.

These teams work toward critical outcomes such as reliability, customer uptime and 'design for value'—moving fast, focusing on what matters and leveraging every person.  Digital is at the core of this approach, leveraging new cloud-based tools, data, analytics and Predix. For example, we have teams working with some of our largest customers on projects such as using video analytics for equipment inspection and leveraging advanced technology for real-time monitoring of rail integrity.

More than ever, our success is critically aligned to that of our customers. And more than ever, because of our deep focus, technology and data science, our teams bring powerful solutions and performance to our industries.

The complete GE 2015 Annual Report is available here.

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