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The global impact of India’s multi-disciplinary skills

By QZ
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This article is part of an ongoing BULLETIN series exploring GE’s innovation, technology, and manufacturing initiatives in India.

GE’s presence in India dates back to 1902, when India’s first hydropower plant was installed. Today employees across GE’s four technology footprints—in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Chennai—are committed to India’s growth and development.

The John F. Welch Technology Centre (JFWTC) in Bangalore is GE’s largest integrated multi-disciplinary R+D centre. Its 100,000 square meters of labs and offices house over 4,500 scientists, researchers, and engineers who are helping redefine what is possible in the energy, transportation, aviation, healthcare, and industrial sectors—in India and the world beyond.

Engineers and scientists from GE’s technology centres in India have contributed to more than 3,000 patents filed by the GE parent company—more than 1,000 of which have been filed since 2010. This rise in innovation can be credited in large part to GE’s emphasis on an interdisciplinary mindset. Teams at JFWTC were the first within GE to adopt a long-term research approach, where engineers and researchers collaborated, leveraging each other’s labs and facilities.

Here are some of the innovations that have come out of this collaborative ecosystem:

Multiphase flow meter

In harsh environments—such as subsea drilling–this technology enables a more accurate measurement of a mixture of liquids like oil, water, and gas. An accurate multiphase meter can obtain real-time data on fluid estimates, allowing for production optimization.

1.7-103 India wind turbine

This advanced technology turbine is specifically tailored for low wind speed conditions in India. It provides a 30% increase in annual energy production compared to its predecessor, and an increase in blade swept area, allowing for a greater energy capture and improved project economics for wind developers and operators.

Lullaby LED phototherapy

The Lullaby LED, which is a key component of the Maternal Infant Care portfolio for emerging markets, treats infant jaundice with uniform light distribution to rid the body of excess bilirubin. The Maternal Infant Care portfolio is the pilot project for FastWorks, an initiative that supports entrepreneurial efforts and processes within GE.

Custom locomotives

Development of the Indo Java locomotive for Indonesia—the first of its kind in the region—features microprocessor-based control systems, electronic fuel injection with reduced emission, advanced braking technology, and sophisticated diagnostics. Another custom locomotive is in development for South African freight rail company Transnet.

The corporation and collaboration of GE’s mechanical and electric engineers, polymer scientists, and chemical engineers make these projects possible. The unique multi-disciplinary approach fostered at GE’s Indian Technology Centres continues to garner the attention of the most talented members of India’s workforce.

With plans to invest $20 million in plant infrastructure and equipment each year for the next three years, Munesh Makhija, Managing Director of GE India’s Technology Centre and CTO of GE India, is eager for what’s ahead. “The opportunity for us to innovate and contribute to changing the lives of over a billion people in India or solving global problems that impact the lives of millions of people out of India, is exciting.”

This article was produced on behalf of GE by the Quartz Marketing team and not by the Quartz editorial staff.

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