"Elastic Cloud" Allows for Real-Time Management of Materials and Equipment Destined for Installation or Servicing at Even the Most Remote Oil and Gas Fields
Advanced Computing Technology Goes beyond Standard Software to Help Shield Customers from Costly Service Gaps
Software Platform Represents Part of GE's Vision for the "Brilliant Factory"
NISKAYUNA, N.Y. — GE (NYSE: GE) today announced that its new "Elastic Cloud Supply Chain Platform" (Elastic Cloud) for real-time management of oil and gas materials, equipment and services has won a prestigious Manufacturing Leadership 100 (ML 100) award. GE was among several companies honored during a ceremony held earlier this month at the tenth annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit in Palm Beach, Florida.
The development of the Elastic Cloud technology represents a collaborative effort between GE Global Research, the Company's technology development arm, and GE Oil Gas. The software is designed to monitor, manage, and optimize the sourcing, production, flow and inventory of complex oil and gas raw materials, components and final products for installation and servicing at customer sites.
"With this software platform we'll be able to maximize, in real-time, the service level we provide to our customers, while minimizing the total delivered cost of GE products and services," said Jody Markopoulos, VP of Sourcing at GE Oil & Gas. "We have heard from our customers—they want better software tools to help navigate the complexities of today's global manufacturing supply chain environment. GE's Elastic Cloud technology delivers on this need."
Two major trends in the oil and gas industry were the driving force behind GE's decision to undertake this project in 2012: the high cost of downtime at oil fields and an increasing level of product customization.
"Customers can't wait days or weeks for equipment to be repaired or replaced – they need that work done within hours in order to remain competitive," added Markopoulos. "With many specific product configurations in play, we decided to craft a software solution that could help us maintain a high service level, a low customer response time, and a high level of customer satisfaction—all while maximizing the efficiency of the global supply chain."
"Elastic Cloud represents a technological breakthrough that will greatly benefit our customers, who have a lot riding on timely scheduling and delivery of parts and services," said Peter Koudal, Supply Chain Technology Leader at GE Global Research. "Time is money in the oil and gas industry and the breakthrough software suite we've developed will help our customers ensure that their rigs keep pumping with no surprise interruptions."
GE's Elastic Cloud technology reflects the Company's vision for the "Brilliant Factory"—the backbone of which is a digital thread that connects all parts of the manufacturing supply chain in real-time. This factory-of-the-future will be driven by software, data, and analytics allowing for constant feedback and optimization throughout the manufacturing process.
"Bringing the latest in software and collaboration technology to GE's manufacturing operations is a critical objective," said Joseph Salvo, Manager of the Complex Systems Engineering Lab at GE Global Research and Director of the Industrial Internet Consortium.
How it works:
GE's Elastic Cloud Supply Chain Platform consists of real-time data extraction, an in-memory analytics engine and a cloud-enabled secured software platform that delivers data and visualizations to all major artificial lift functions at GE Oil & Gas. Several analytic modules were built to extract meaningful information from the data collected:
One module provides end users with a "control tower" view of current inventory positions and enables users to pinpoint specific opportunities for inventory reduction. Information displayed in this system was previously only accessible by opening up multiple reports and queries.
A second module provides materials managers and the commercial team with the ability to identify similar finished goods that are well positioned for customer replenishment by automatically identifying attributes (e.g. horsepower, voltage, etc.). This enables the commercial team to quickly find local inventory, reducing manufacturing and transportation costs.
A third module enables end users to monitor, manage and optimize inventory relative to contractual agreements with large customers by pooling inventory by product attributes.
A fourth module enables regional material managers to receive real-time decision support for determining the proper policy for replenishment and re-stocking of spare parts.
The outputs from these analytic modules are presented in web-based user interfaces and integrated into a cloud-enabled and secure software platform accessible to artificial lift users, to ensure everyone is working from the most up-to-date information possible.
GE's Elastic Cloud platform is currently in use in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. It is used across major artificial lift functions in GE Oil & Gas—inventory, material, customer service, manufacturing, commercial, and finance. In 2014 the platform is being extended to include real-time parts flow optimization and product lifecycle tracking from suppliers to production to warehouses to oilfields—some of which are in the most remote parts of the world.
About GE Global Research
GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE's businesses. Our scientists and engineers redefine what's possible, drive growth for our businesses, and find answers to some of the world's toughest problems.
We innovate 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, New York; San Ramon, California; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; Munich, Germany; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visit GE Global Research on the web at www.ge.com/research. Connect with our technologists at http://edisonsdesk.com and http://twitter.com/GEResearch.
About GE Oil & Gas
GE Oil & Gas works on the things that matter in the oil and gas industry. In collaboration with our customers, we push the boundaries of technology to bring energy to the world. From extraction to transportation to end use, we address today's toughest challenges in order to fuel the future. Follow GE Oil & Gas on Twitter @GE_OilandGas
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