How Big Data, IoT are keeping locomotive maker GE Transportation on the right track

Chicago-headquartered GE Transportation has been manufacturing railway equipment for more than a century. It recently merged with railway giant Wabtec and is currently the second-largest producer of diesel-electric locomotives for both freight and passenger applications in North America, where it holds close to 70% market share.

In 2015, GE Transportation inked a $2.5 billion contract with the Indian Railways to supply 1,000 locomotives --- the bulk to be manufactured in India -- and build a new maintenance shed in the country too. Last September, the Indian Railways approved these locomotives for operation.

Technology has played a crucial role in the production and functioning of these locomotives, GE Transportation’s international chief information officer Jagdish Belwal told TechCircle.

From using big data for critical insights to embedding IoT sensors for improved reliability, Belwal spoke about how technology has transformed operations at its maintenance shed in Roza, Uttar Pradesh and at GE Transportation in general.

Belwal also revealed how artificial intelligence can help prevent accidents and discussed the company’s digital strategy going forward.