General Electric thinks that as much as $US15 billion could be added to global industrial output, merely by connecting global industrial operations to the Internet.
The report (PDF), Unleashing the Industrial Internet: "Pushing the Boundaries of Minds and Machines", paints the kind of futuristic picture that Vulture South seems to recall from the 1990s. For example, the world’s 20,000 commercial jets have a total of 43,000 jet engines in service.
“Each jet engine, in turn, contains three major pieces of rotating equipment which could be instrumented and monitored separately,” it says – all of which, in a world of “intelligent aircraft”, could communicate with operators over the Internet.
And so on:
“We estimate that the technical innovations of the Industrial Internet could find direct application in sectors accounting for more than $32.3 trillion in economic activity. As the global economy grows, the potential application of the Industrial Internet will expand as well. By 2025 it could be applicable to $82 trillion of output or approximately one half of the global economy”, the report continues.
While there’s no doubt that industrial automation is at best a work in progress, with a lot of efficiency still to be achieved, The Register can’t help but wonder whether the public Internet can ever be a good place for industrial control systems. ®