GE Fanuc is no longer GE Fanuc Automation, CNC or Embedded Systems. The new name is GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms.
The goal is to close the gap between the original name and the new company, which has invested in new technology, created new products, and expanded capabilities to meet customers’ need around the world.
In August, the company formed GE Enterprise Solutions, which focuses on information management and automation solutions and includes the various GE Industrial businesses, with Charlene T. Begley at the helm.
Maryrose T. Sylvester president and chief executive of GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, took attendees of Discover 2007, the company’s users conference in St. Louis, Missouri, on a journey they hope will be a gateway to productivity.
In the early days settlers were overcoming challenges, but they came back with opportunities. In 1803, Louis and Clark were in a realm of fear and uncertainty as they entered the Corps of Discovery and the brave new world it promised. But they came back to share with the rest of the world. “We too in the industry have been on journey of transformation and change,” Sylvester said.
“When you think about what’s changed in the world and in automation, it’s startling,” she said. “Those plant managers had some great tools but they’re only half as good as what we have today. At that time automation was truly a new frontier. People who preceded me were true pioneers, leaving a legacy that’s continued to build in the last 20 years. We’re talking about providing solutions instead of point sources,” she said. “In 1987, it was about getting the data. Today, it’s about turning that data into intelligence. We think that time is now.”
Sylvester said the company has been spending, but “spending wisely. We believe in technology, and we think it’s paying off. This enterprise has a true global footprint. We’ve partnered in over 100 countries. We’ve changed, and the world has changed. We’re now beyond CNC, automation and embedded systems. We bring a whole solution to an industry that’s changing everyday. So we had to change our name to reflect this.”
The company’s newly focused mission is to enable businesses and products to be better everyday. They hope to do this “by delivering high-performance technology through the passion and expertise of our people,” she said. “We are truly transforming manufacturing and operations around the world. The products need to center around core values, solving tough problems, delivering value, and protecting your investments. They should either deliver you better cost, quality, or compliance ability.”
One way to make sure this happens is delivering solutions to vertical industries. “We believe in focusing on horizontal technologies, but we also know we need to go deep into industries where we can add value,” she said. This includes automotive, healthcare, consumer, power, oil and gas, and water. “We need to get deeper and deeper in our expertise.”
One success story includes Gumlink, a gum manufacturer in Denmark who used GE Fanuc’s Proficy for their plant applications. Results included a 10% increase in packaging efficiency, ROI achieved in less than three months, and $900,000 savings annually. Another example is Nissan North America, Inc., where GE helped them meet daily manufacturing goals and fluid production; and ensured uptime and system quality; improved data on warranties, recalls, defects and hold management.
Sylvester ended the session with promises of new product launches. “We’ll be launching Proficy Platform; it will allow integration between people and resources in a common nameplate to interact together just like in this Internet world of being able to do searches and instant message in your automation systems,” she said. It will allow you to do rapid application development in your environment; it’s the Googlization of automation. Other promises included advanced concepts in SCADA to provide more realization in viewing, the plant in a more natural environment, “to see it as it truly is on your plant floor,” as well as faster navigation “to allow you to look at things as they really exist.” Advances in software and control systems, will lead the company to realize “what is possible in process: high performance, flexible, scalable, and open.”‑ Ellen Fussell Policastro