Summary & Process
GE Power Conversion marine customers demanded better service for their critical power control systems, and it was starting to impact business.
A handful of engineers pulled together a working remote diagnostics system that grew slowly and organically for a few years, but was not profitable as commercial software.
As the UX design lead I collaborated with product management to document the existing and proposed features. I created a story map to help ensure that we focused on developing a series of user testable releases that provided a cohesive and viable end-to-end experience.
I worked closely with the visual designer to adopt the Industrial Internet Design System (predecessor to Predix.) to ensure that we were able to move quickly and stay on -brand.
Our engineering team began to rewrite the software to be more secure and reliable. However, after I interviewed the field engineers who relied on Visor the most, I discovered that what they really needed was easy access to diagnostic data.
The team pivoted and the software is now standard on every hardware system they sell. As word got out they were able to double their sales in two years.
"GE Oil & Gas (NYSE: GE) announced a new contractual service agreement (CSA), valued at approximately $180 million, with Transocean" press release dated Jan 11, 2017
Visor is responsible for maintaining power systems on various kinds of ships. A team of GE engineers monitors the health of these marine vessels as they travel around the world.
The moment there is an outage our engineers need data from the control system so they can restore power as quickly as possible. Unplanned downtime can cost the ship operators up to a $1 million dollars a day.
A solution was developed using a remote desktop connection allowing the engineers to manually retrieve the information. Unfortunately the satellite connections used were unreliable and slow, delaying the engineers response by 6-8 hours.
Our initial task was to improve on the original solution, but I pushed to interview and observe the field service engineers who use the software everyday.
In speaking with them we learned that what they really needed was not a remote connection, but fast and reliable access to diagnostic data.
Once we pivoted to create an automated data retrieval system, we were able to reduce turn-around times from 6-12 hours to 30 minutes.
The system is so successful that it's now included with every product sold, and it's saving our customers millions by preventing downtime, improving safety, and protecting industrial assets and the environment.
"The Drive Trip Auto Alert feature in Visor is operational on both xxxxxxx vessels and is already proving to be a very useful tool. A few weeks ago, we received an alert on the Visor portal that both main propulsion drives had tripped. The vessel was drifting ~600km off the coast of India. This alert prompted GE to contact the vessel within minutes to offer assistance, where upon the crew explained that a cooling pipe close to the two MV3000 propulsion drives had burst and sprayed water over both drives, causing them to trip. An added advantage of the auto trip feature is that the drive software files and systems alarms data are automatically sent to the Visor portal, so our experts were able to investigate the nature of the trip itself.
Access to this data, coupled with our immediate response to the ship allowed us to provide advice and guidance to get both drives back into operation using spare components and equipment from the tunnel thruster drives, so the vessel could complete the transit voyage to Oman. Because we were able to have a clear picture of the fault we were also able to ensure that both parts and our field service engineer were in Oman ready for the vessel to dock a few days later.
The service visit was a successful one and the vessel fulfilled it’s charter on time. xxxxxxx are so impressed with this feature of Visor that they have asked that their two land based Technical Superintendents also have access to these alerts, not just to understand when there is a problem, but also to gain greater insight into the way the crews are operating the vessels."
Project Management, Software Engineering, Business Analysts, UX Research, UX Interaction Design (me)