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March 8, 2018 Marketing

TechHub: GE’s huge turbine, cyber fears in manufacturing & more news

Manufacturing executives are scared of cyber security risks — with good reason

2017 was the year of major industrial cyber attacks on a global scale. The industry is still recovering from brutal viruses such as WannaCry and Petya.

Two-fifths of manufacturing executives surveyed said that their companies had been impacted by a virus or worm attack in the last year, while 86% said that they were victims to at least one instance of fraud. This is 2% higher than the global average across all industry sectors, according to The Manufacturer.

An even greater number, 88%, of manufacturing executives reported that their companies had experienced a cyber incident or information theft, loss or attack over the past 12 months.

The report reveals that the manufacturing sector is experiencing a heightened sense of vulnerability to fraud, cyber and security risks — with information-related risks as the largest area of concern. Criminals and threat actors are finding new ways to monetize confidential data (including personal data), making them valuable and attractive targets.


Download the GrayMatter Cyber Security Guide for Operational Technology to get a comprehensive understanding of security in the OT world including top vulnerabilities. The guide walks you through the first steps in knowing what’s on your network and has specific advice about the assessment process from our top cyber security consultants.

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GE is making the world’s most powerful wind turbine

GE Renewable Resources is dedicating as much as $400 million towards an offshore wind turbine that’ll be almost 100 meters taller than the Washington Monument.

The new turbine, named Haliade-X, will be 853 feet tall with blades longer than a soccer field, according to Industry Week.


“The renewables industry took more than 20 years to install the first 17 gigawatt of offshore wind,” said Jerome Pecresse, CEO Renewable Energy. “Today, the industry forecasts that it will install more than 90 gigawatts over the next 12 years.”

One 12-megawatt turbine will generate up to 67 gigawatt hours a year, enough to power 5,000 households. Bigger turbines need fewer foundations and less complex grid connections than smaller units, making a wind farm’s layout more efficient and require less maintenance.

The cost of building and producing offshore wind farms have fallen drastically in recent years, making subsidy-free projects a reality.

GE Transportation’s road to digital transformation — making a factory Brilliant

General Electric has 500 plants worldwide in a variety of business units, ranging from transportation, power, healthcare and more. The company realized it needed to streamline processes while adding real-time data analytics to predict equipment and hardware problems. That’s when they brought in GrayMatter to increase manufacturing quality control.

What started out as 14 pilot sites transformed into seven GE plants globally that have earned the Brilliant designation, one of which is a GE Transportation plant in Grove City, PA.

brilliant manufacturing

A locomotive engine in the factory after the Brilliant transformation, shown with display screens that analyze data in real-time.

In 2011 GE decided to build a facility dedicated to remanufacturing engines in Grove City: a new 246,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that would utilize 400 employees.

GE Transportation had a great, new facility but was still using very manual processes to remanufacture engines. An engine would arrive at the plant and workers would have no idea what was wrong with it.

It would get physically torn apart in an attempt to diagnose the problem, which had workers manually using machines that weighed sometimes 35 to 40 pounds to tighten bolts on an engine that would weigh 41,000-pounds. It took a physical and mental toll on employees while burning resources and man-hours.

The operational technology and informational technology people weren’t communicating, which is a common problem. Security concerns have these systems and departments working in silos, preventing them from working together and build a system that overlaps on common ground and develop solutions that benefit everyone.

Then, it became Brilliant.

“We actually had one drill press that was about 100-years-old.”

It began with a half-day walking tour of the facility to see how the operations worked and taking inventory of equipment, identifying which machines were critical and what was being dealt with in terms of age and technology.

“I’ve never seen a plant like that,” said Andrew Drake, Digital Industrial Architect at GrayMatter and a team leader on the project. “It really ran the complete spectrum from new equipment on one end to some equipment that was first bought in the 1940s. We actually had one drill press that was about 100-years-old.”

Hundreds of machines now have sensors to monitor operations and productivity, identifying potential problems before they occur. It flipped the maintenance model to be based on dynamic data to head off problems, keeping machines operating and reduced downtime by 20%. It created a system that operates on real-time needs.

Check out the full story on the digital transformation of GE Transportation.

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