May 16, 2020

GE announces the launch of $1.2bn industrial IoT software business

GE
IoT
IoT
GE
Catherine Sturman
3 min
IIoT
GE has announced its plans to launch a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software portfo...

GE has announced its plans to launch a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software portfolio. With an initial $1.2bn in annual software revenue and an existing global industrial customer base, the company is intended to be a GE wholly-owned, independently run business with a new brand and identity, its own equity structure, and its own Board of Directors.

The proposed new organisation aims to bring together GE Digital’s industry-leading IIoT solutions such as its Predix platform, Asset Performance Management, Automation (HMI/SCADA), Manufacturing Execution Systems, Operations Performance Management, and the GE Power Digital and Grid Software Solutions businesses. 

Additionally, the business has agreed to sell a majority stake in its field service management software, ServiceMax. Set to be acquired by private equity firm, Silver Lake, where GE will retain 10% equity ownership.

Since GE Digital acquired the company in 2016 for $915bn, ServiceMax has continued to invest in its technology and delivered growth that has outpaced the market over the past two years. Offering cloud software tools to improve the productivity of complex service and equipment-centric business operations for over 400 corporate customers across dozens of industries, ServiceMax will now gain the strategic focus to penetrate the $34bn global Field Service Management software market opportunity.

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The sale and acquisition will also enable GE will sharpen its focus on developing its IIoT portfolio and see it position the business for future growth. ServiceMax and GE Digital will seek to ensure ongoing collaboration to serve their joint customers, including GE’s industrial business units, and plan to continue to deeply integrate their technology offerings. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

On top of this, GE Digital CEO, Bill Ruh, is set to depart GE to pursue other opportunities, leaving his position vacant until a new CEO for this new independent company is identified.

“As an early leader in IIoT, GE has built a strong business with its industrial customers thanks to deep domain knowledge and software expertise," said GE Chairman and CEO H. Lawrence Culp, Jr. "As an independently operated company, our digital business will be best positioned to advance our strategy to focus on our core verticals to deliver greater value for our customers and generate new value for shareholders."

The IIoT is a nascent market but is expected to have significant growth. According to Gartner: “Innovations such as smart, connected products, the industrial Internet of Things (IoT), ‘digital twins,’ advanced analytics and artificial intelligence will be key to productivity improvement and new IT demand in this sector through 2022. The proliferation of digital products and subsystems to enable the IoT in downstream industries and generate revenue from smart products over their entire life cycle will be the most promising (and complex) driver for new IT spending growth through 2022.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router

Siemens
5G
IIoT
Data
3 min
Siemens’ first industrial 5G router, the Scalancer MUM856-1, is now available and will revolutionise the concept of remote control in industry

Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age. 

 

Siemens Enables 5G IIoT

The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). 

Siemens presents its first industrial 5G router.
Siemens presents the Scalance MUM856-1.

The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.

 

Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance

 

  • Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
  • The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
  • A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
  • Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites

 

5G Now

“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.

 

Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said. 

 

Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future

Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’ 

 

And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.

 

The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.

 

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