At the Avio Aero center of excellence in Brindisi, several million euros have been invested in the construction of ultra-modern and innovative production lines used to build external casings for jet engine low-pressure turbines.

“This has impressed our visitors, including Safran and Boeing customers, mainly because of two unique features which our team calls ‘unmanned’ and ‘digital,’” said Damiano Mazzotta, Center of Excellence (CoE) Leader at Brindisi.

Each production line has its own ‘digital supervisor’: software that is active on the workstation located at the beginning of each line that acts as an interconnected brain. Each workstation manages the process phases, pauses and schedules for each case and includes a remote-control function that allows the cell leader, manufacturing engineer or cell supervisor to monitor, verify and take operative control of the production line at any moment, wherever they may be.

The Brindisi team has also joined Smart Shop, a tool which is currently being tested in a select number of GE Oil & Gas plants and could be accessed through GE’s cloud platform, Predix.

Together with our center in Brindisi, Smart Shop handles 11 production lines for pipeline plants and gas turbines scattered across factories in Florence, Massa, Vibo Valentia, Talamona (in Italy) and Le Creusot (France). This tool makes it possible to carry out in real time (with automatic updates every 60 seconds) a diagnosis of every production line or cell, and every workstation, including the operational state of each single machine, KPIs, specific parts being worked on, maintenance register and program and availability of single machine tools and lines.

“In the future, Smart Shop could very well be accessed via smartphone. Right now, GE Aviation and GE Digital teams are working to optimize and standardize its use for every factory, line and manufacturing specialty,” proudly explained Angelo Spalluto, IT & Digital manager at Brindisi.

Thanks to its supervisor software, every line generates data and uses gateways to gather and channel them toward Smart Shop. Smart Shop then collates the data and displays it in an e-menu, which can then be referenced and used by teams in the same plant, or teams at other industrial sites. Sharing knowledge, operative experience and information is what we call The GE Store.

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