GE Digital and Gerdau announced today that the two companies have agreed to work together to transform the steel producer’s industrial operations in a first-time initiative for the global steel industry. After proving the value of the solution through a small-scale deployment, Gerdau has decided to rollout GE Digital’s software and services to connect 600 assets in 11 plants across Brazil.
GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) solution for Gerdau consists of GE’s SmartSignal and Historian software, services, and remote monitoring and analytics expertise out of GE’s Industrial Performance & Reliability Center (IPRC) in Illinois.
SmartSignal, which is part of GE’s APM Solution Suite, identifies impending equipment failures well before they happen—often weeks or months in advance. With this added lead time, companies can transition from reactive to preventative and predictive maintenance processes and help avoid unplanned equipment downtime. SmartSignal works by leveraging existing data, stored and gathered by GE’s time-series data Historian software to provide early and actionable warnings of impending equipment and process problems—enabling operators to focus on fixing problems, rather than looking for them. The Industrial Performance & Reliability Center (IPRC) helps bridge new technology and maintenance engineers on the ground with mature predictive analytics to prevent unplanned downtime.
Gerdau embarked on a proof of concept, monitoring 50 of the company’s assets, then worked with GE’s IPRC and was able to realize two “catches” of potential asset issues that could be addressed through early planned maintenance without impact to the business. The savings resulting from these preventative actions were equal to the cost of the pilot; as a result, Gerdau received value immediately and the proof of concept was validated.
“Gerdau is incorporating greater agility and autonomy in operational decisions via digitalization. We are focused on creating value and enhancing the competitiveness of our operations and our partnership with GE will definitely provide important support for this challenge,” said Andre B. Gerdau Johannpeter, CEO of Gerdau.
“Every industrial company must undergo digital transformation,” said Bill Ruh, CEO, GE Digital. “While many companies have already built a strong tech foundation, continued investment the 'traditional way’ will not guarantee growth for an industrial organization. Businesses like Gerdau are thinking about cloud, big data, mobile, platforms and even talent differently. Digitization and a focus on outcomes, facilitated by analytics, is a solution.”