As consumers, we have been living in 3D for quite some time now. A simple night out at the movies will give you that experience. They just released the Wizard of Oz in 3D! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! For the world of manufacturing, well… it’s opening up a whole new world and way of making things.
Hi, my name is Christine Furstoss and I lead GE’s technology programs in advanced manufacturing, which includes everything from machining and casting technologies to materials science, welding, and yes, 3D printing. In the past few years, 3D printing, or additive as we call it in our labs, has received overwhelming attention. You can’t pick up a magazine or newspaper these days without reading or seeing something about it.
When you see what additive can do, it’s easy to see why the hype is so big. The way you make parts, components and products through additive is changing not only how we make things; it’s changing what we can make. For centuries, we machined, milled or cast material into the shape we wanted. Now, we’re building them up layer-by-layer into virtually any shape we want. With additive, product designers are experiencing new degrees the freedom they have never had. Before, designers had one or two shots to get a design right because of all the time and expense required to prepare it for manufacturing. Now, we can’t get them to stop iterating design after design because it’s so easy to tweak it and try something new.
What does this all mean for the future of manufacturing? What does it mean for our future workforce? And what does it mean for what we can create and build?
On Friday, September 27th at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, I will be moderating a Google+ Video Hangout with top experts in the additive manufacturing space, which you can view on GE Global Research Live. I will be picking their brains on how they see the future of additive unfolding and what it will mean.
Check out the site to learn more about the experts participating in the panel and submit your questions ahead of time directly on the page or on Twitter using the hashtag #geresearchlive. You can add this event to your calendar from our Global Research Live site as well.
I hope you will join us on Friday!
Loucas here from the Photonics Lab at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY. I wanted to touch base on a topic that is becoming increasingly of interest to GE and the Energy industry as a whole. This has to do with the ability to improve the efficiency of some renewable energy generating technologies, as well as improve the efficiency and environmental footprint of oil & gas producing technologies. This hinges on having large amounts of data and detailed analysis of that data. However, the quality of analytics is only as good as the reliability and robustness of the data points being collected.
As oil and gas production moves to unconventional environments, it will require more rugged sensors that can handle the hotter, harsher environments they will surely encounter. Here at GE Global Research, we are developing such a sensing platform using an array of technologies and disciplines (from materials science to computer science) that is not only focused on ensuring the collection of reliable data about an oil/gas field, but also expanding the level of information that can be captured and analyzed. This sensing platform also will contribute to field and well operations that are even safer and more efficient. As an example, GE has developed a novel downhole sensor for measuring pressure at high temperature. This is based on a photonic micro-opto-mechanical systems (MOEMS) technology developed by GE’s Measurement & Control business. These sensors (see picture) were mounted on a 2 km long optical fiber and tested downhole in a geothermal well, showing very high accuracy. An offshoot of this technology is being developed to monitor CO2 sequestration wells. However, these same sensors that are used in renewable energy production can also have an impact in helping to create more efficient, reliable, and optimized oil & gas technologies.
I hope you’ll join us in the year ahead as we discuss these emerging sensing systems technologies on the blog!
Today, there are more devices than people connected to the Internet. In 2015, that number is expected to rise to 25 billion. Wow.
I’m Naresh Iyer, a computer scientist in the Machine Learning Lab at GE Global Research. Not only do I work with machines everyday, I teach them how to learn and work without me, and you.
Today, at 9PM ET/PT, CNBC Prime will show the “Rise of the Machines,” a one-hour documentary about the machines you know (planes & MRI’s) and love (toasters & coffeemakers) , and how they now have the ability to converse with us, and with each other. The new internet will alter our world in ways we have yet to imagine. Think about how you use the Internet to exchange information with people in your life, learn new things and do things better. The Internet allows us to gain new knowledge, act based on the knowledge, and even learn from our mistakes. Imagine all of this now available to the machines that surround us. What if our airplanes could talk to each other and those on the ground? They would fly more efficiently and help drastically cut down delays and cancellations . What if our doctors could monitor our health, all day every day and identify patterns and predict health issues, before they become problems. This is the new world of interconnected and intelligent machines that is going to revolutionize the way we live our lives.
I hope you’ll tune in to the Rise of the Machines to learn more about this technological revolution. During the show, and a little after I’ll be on twitter to answer your questions and have a discussion about this fascinating topic. You can ask me your questions on twitter to #RiseOfTheMachines and I will be answering them from @generalelectric.
Also, check out this short video of me below, sharing some thoughts around Machines—where they are going, how they learn and why they matter.
Looking forward to your questions on twitter this evening!
When two seemingly unrelated research topics are overlapped, the result is sometimes a small spark that ignites a revolution in thinking. For me, as a thermal research engineer and manager in the Thermal Systems Organization at GE Global Research, one such potent combination already taking shape is Additive Manufacturing and High Pressure Turbine Blade Cooling. Additive Manufacturing allows you to “print” (instead of machine) metal parts. Such flexibility completely flips traditional thinking about turbine blade cooling on its head. No longer bound by traditional manufacturing techniques, hot gas path cooling engineers now can let their imaginations run wild with ways to cool engine parts. In essence, the realm of possibilities is just about limitless – think it, print it, presto!
The cool thing about bringing together two seemingly orthogonal research backgrounds is that you never know what you are going to get. This week, I am going to get to put this theory into practice. Starting on Wednesday, I’ll get to spend 3 days with 99 other engineers from across the US to discuss emerging technology areas at the National Academy of Engineers Frontiers of Engineering Symposium in Wilmington, Delaware. This invitation-only event will dive deep on four topics:
1. Designing and Analyzing Societal Networks
2. Cognitive Manufacturing
3. Energy Independence
4. Flexible Electronics
This Symposium promises to generate a plethora of little sparks, as it brings together a diverse set of research backgrounds from academia, industry, and national labs to discuss and innovate the next big trends in these technology areas. I am excited to bring my Gas Turbine Heat Transfer background to the table on these four seemingly unrelated topics. I have no idea what to expect. But already, one topic area has me curious – what is Cognitive Manufacturing?
A research team at University of Texas at Austin, led by Professor Dragan Djurdjanovic, is researching Cognitive Manufacturing – the blending of human skillsets and autonomous manufacturing far beyond a more traditional manufacturing floor (at least, that’s my definition having read the talk’s abstract). They are one of just a handful of research teams looking at this field.
Professor Djurdjanovic talk is entitled, “Distributed Agents for Artificial Immunity in Modern Manufacturing.” He is going to dive deep on the science of how to deal with the unknown in a complex manufacturing environment. Instead of more traditional trial-and-error techniques (that can be quite time consuming), and instead of relying solely on process sensors (not every critical parameter in a manufacturing process can be directly observed), we’re going to learn how you can formulate a mathematical framework to help deploy the right people (and skills) into a complex manufacturing system to identify and solve the root cause of a localized failure quickly.
I love the analogy that Professor Djurdjanovic draws in his abstract to describe this approach: The practitioners deployed on a manufacturing floor are like the antigens of the human body, able to detect and identify local anomalies. What a fascinating way to think about the future of manufacturing!
Which makes me wonder: As Additive Manufacturing encompasses more and more of GE’s engines, how might Cognitive Manufacturing play a role in the manufacturing floors of tomorrow? And how can I, as a thermal research engineer, incorporate this shift in manufacturing theory into my gas turbine cooling design concepts today? Maybe they’re unrelated, but then again, maybe they’re not.
I hope to bring back 5 key nuggets from this event to share that challenge how I think about my team and research. To get in the spirit of Social Networks, I’ve opened a Twitter account, @EricRuggieroGE . During the symposium, I will be tweeting live, sharing interesting takeaways from these topics and more. Please feel free to follow me if you want to be part of the experience!
This week, we announced a partnership with Berkeley Lab to develop a water-based, flow battery capable of more than just traditional, stationary energy storage. In the below Q&A, Chemist Grigorii Soloveichik discusses the project, the partnership and a bit about himself. Be sure to check out the 6-second video demonstrating how the technology is designed to work!
1. How did this project first begin?
This project first started within DOE-funded Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), which targets fundamental basis for an energy storage technology that is a combination of an organic flow battery and a fuel cell. The main problem of fuel cells is slow oxygen reaction at the cathode, so we started to look at more practical, efficient and faster liquid cathodes; we began to think about how to increase their energy density and finally, we came up with an idea of an all inorganic water-based flow battery.
2. Describe this technology in 140 characters. Ready, Set, Go.
It is a rechargeable battery where highly soluble, inexpensive active materials are dissolved in water, pumped through an electrochemical cell, and stored separately.
Conceptual design of a water-based flow battery GE scientists are researching as part of ARPA-E’s RANGE program. This battery could be one-fourth the cost of current car batteries, and could nearly triple the distance electric vehicles could travel on a single charge.
3. List some reasons why this water-based flow battery is a game changing technology for EVs.
It’s energy dense due to multi-electron transfer and high solubility of active species, It’s safe because we use non-flammable solutions in water and active materials are stored separately. It’s conformable because the storage tanks could be any shape and in any place in a car and it’s affordable because we use very inexpensive bulk materials compared to that used in current batteries (lithium, nickel, vanadium, etc.)
4. Why 240 miles?
This number is based on ARPA-E analysis. Along with the battery cost target (<$125/Wh), this would ultimately lead to electric vehicles at a cost parity with ICE vehicles.
5. Discuss the value of partnering with Berkley labs.
We established this relationship when we started EFRC. Having a free flow of ideas, using each other skills, experiences and facilities has proved to be very valuable.
6. What is most exciting to you about this project?
The possibility of seeing how an idea transforms into a technology.
7. What types of expertise were involved in this project from GE Global Research and how has this combined expertise impacted the project?
GE Global Research has a long history in electrochemistry, inorganic chemistry, catalysis, membranes, and fuel cells and flow batteries. Because of the cross-disciplinary expertise of our researchers, it gives us a confidence.
8. Why did you decide to become a Chemist? And why GE’s Research center?
In high school, I pursued both math and chemistry because of two excellent teachers. After I literally missed the train for a math Olympiad, I decided to pursue chemistry. I’ve worked at GE’s research center (GRC) for more than 15 years. I was attracted to the GRC because of the possibility of generating ideas in different fields of chemistry and seeing how they could become a reality. In addition, I have the pleasure and honor of working with great researchers here.
9. What do you like to do outside of the labs?
I enjoy traveling and seeing new places, along with hiking, reading, playing tennis, and meeting friends.
10. What do you read?
I read mostly historical books, detective novels and science fiction, both in English and Russian.
11. They say you learn one new thing every day. What have you learned today?
I learned (almost) how to make a meaningful six-second video.
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