Ge's Veresegyház Factory Improves Its Efficiency By Its Own Digital Solutions
GE Power’s Veresegyház factory enhances its production efficiency by its own digital technologies. The company, manufacturing gas-turbine power plants and parts and contributing more than 4% to the total Hungarian exports reduced its maintenance costs by 25% in a single year by means of industrial internet based predictive technologies. The significant efficiency improvement has been achieved by GE Power Veresegyház with the introduction of the preventive maintenance technology based on the sound analyzer testing of the plasma guns used in the production processes. Through the digital innovation, the company has tripled the life cycle of the high-value plasma spray equipment, which sprays ceramic powder at 14,000 degree Celsius - as hot as the surface of the Sun - on the turbine parts made by the company.
The 125 years old GE is on its way to transform from a traditional industrial company (manufacturing machines and equipment) to a digital industrial company. GE aims at increasing its revenue out of the digital services based on data analysis by USD 6 billion to 15 billion annually by 2020.
“GE’s digital transition has an impact on our company’s structure, its global and local market presence. GE will focus primarily on those industries and products, in which both the production processes and the products themselves can be fully digitalized.” - said Joerg Bauer, President of GE Hungary. “GE has invested HUF 33 billion in the past 2 years to create 2,500 high-value-added, digitally enabled positions in Hungary, where our purpose is to increase the value we create in the future by IoT solutions based on data analysis, and support Hungary in its transition to an innovation-based ecomomy” - added Joerg Bauer.
One of the best examples of GE’s transformation into a digital industrial company is GE Power Veresegyház factory operating since 2001, which is GE Power’s largest plant outside the United States. Employing more than 2,000 professionals, GE Power Veresegyház manufactures small and medium-capacity gas-turbine power plants and their components. The combined capacity of the power plants built in the factory is close to 2 GW, equal to the current capacity of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant.
The modernity and value of the manufacturing technology of GE Power Veresegyház is well shown by the fact that 50% of the annual maintenance cost of the entire plant, operating a fleet of 120 pieces of equipment, is accounted for by the continuous maintenance and replacement of the 6 high-value plasma spray equipment alone. Plasma spray blows a ceramic protective layer on the parts of gas turbines exposed to high operating temperature, for which the ceramic powder is heated by the plasma spray equipment to 14,000 degrees Celsius.
„Owing to digitalization, it has become a very low-cost operation by today to collect, process and analyze the data generated in the course of operating the highly valuable machinery and equipment, which leads to a profound change compared to the earlier, rather inaccurate maintenance practice based on statistical models” - said Gergő Lencsés, factory director of GE Power Veresegyház.
In the framework of the development project completed recently, GE Power Veresegyház measured the operation of the plasma spray equipment by sound analyzers, and from the data derived through the measurements, the sound levels typical of the normal conditions and the conditions predicting failure were determined. Based upon the results of measurements, the factory’s specialists changed the operating parameters of the equipment tripling the life cycle of the plasma spray equipment.
This single digital improvement based upon data analysis reduced the maintenance costs of the Veresegyház plant by close to HUF 100 million.
The key to GE’s transformation is Predix, the world’s first and so far only cloud-based IT platform exclusively engineered for the industrial users launched by GE in February 2016. Predix is leveraging on data analysis and analytical solutions and helps GE customers across the power generation, power distribution, healthcare, automotive, chemical, transportation, oil and gas and manufacturing industries as well as GE’s own companies to increase the operational and production efficiency of their high-value assets.
Increasing productivity has a huge potential. According to GE, by saving only 1% of total European expenditure via efficiency and productivity increase, the EU can add EUR 2.8 trillion per year to the GDP by 2030, which is equivalent to a quarter of the current size of the euro area economy.