GE Integrates Additive Manufacturing into New Advanced Facility
General Electric (GE) has announced plans to add a technology centre to its manufacturing and engineering complex in Greenville, South Carolina to coincide with ongoing industry developments being made in 3D printing, and particularly laser sintering.
Major investments have been made in aerospace, among other sectors, which rely on highly detailed, lightweight, customised parts, and GE has now responded in turn with its new facility, which will be known as the Advanced Manufacturing Works.
Predicted to open in 2015, the first-of-its-kind centre will employ a variety of technologies including additive manufacturing using lasers and electron beams, five-axis machining, automated welding and advanced composites.
The company plans to use it to develop high-tech manufacturing processes across its largest industrial business unit, Power and Water.
The new technology centre will develop prototypes and processes for a host of other GE businesses including its heavy-duty gas turbine, wind turbine, gas engine, nuclear power services and water purification businesses, allowing the company to carry out processes more quickly and at a higher standard.
“Greenville serves as the ideal location for the Power and Water advanced manufacturing site. Here we will be able to deliver even more innovative breakthrough products and services, work better with each other and our customers, and bring best-in-class technologies to market quicker,” GE Power and Water President and CEO, Steve Bolze said.
Kurt Goodwin, the GE executive who will manage the new centre in Greenville, said the new project may help create jobs in Greenville in emerging markets, especially in the area of making prototypes from metal powder from within the site.
GE plans to spend $400 million on the new centre over the next 10 years. Just under a quarter of that will go towards building the new centre and hiring 80 new high tech employees, while the remaining $327 million will go towards machinery and equipment.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
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).
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
“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.