GE’s Genius Is Retiring
When GE introduced their Genius line of I/O blocks in 1985, they offered automation advantages that other components couldn’t.
These benefits included predictable operations for PLC systems, accelerated troubleshooting and diagnostics, shorter wiring routes, and fewer system failures. Today, countless industries still rely on Genius I/O blocks and bus controllers for reliable PLC function and distributed control of factory floors.
The GE Genius Block Legacy
These revolutionary I/O systems for PLCs featured easy installation, sturdiness, and intelligence. Even in the event of a network or CPU failure, system operation was still maintained with Genius.
The Genius blocks went global and were used in a variety of applications, from mining and steel to car manufacturing. It’s no surprise that many plants still have Genius I/O blocks installed.
While Genius continued to play a crucial role in plant functioning for many types of industries, in 2011, GE notified customers that they were changing their lifecycle status of Genius from Active to Mature. This included Genius I/O Blocks, Genius Bus Controllers, and Genius Communication Blocks.
GE continued to offer the Genius line of products long after expected. Mature status designates that the product be available to order new for a minimum of 2 years after status change. 5 years later, GE is finally phasing out their Genius line.
GE’s decision to stop producing Genius wasn’t taken lightly; however, GE had its reasons for retiring Genius in order to deliver on their promise of advancing operations and focusing on improved automation connectivity.
Why GE Genius Is Going Obsolete
Although GE has evolved the Genius line to have more capabilities and better technology, Genius has been falling behind when it comes to keeping up with newer systems. GE has been investing in newer technology to advance and integrate system communication.
These include Ethernet-based systems including those with PROFINET adaptors. Not only does this result in access to many devices over a single network, but also better scalability when it comes to system architectures. In turn, an Ethernet-based system can reduce downtime without dramatically altering wiring systems or application codes.
All current GE I/O products have PROFINET adaptors to accommodate Ethernet communications. By taking advantage of Ethernet cabling, you can also reap the benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This means constructive data is easily accessible through machine software and device connectivity is dramatically improved.
Taking advantage of newer technology by migrating your PLC or simply transitioning Genius to an Active product is huge when it comes to the IIoT. This is because the data you receive and analyze allows you to make information-based, real-time choices to improve operations.
Using this gathered data to determine how your processes are achieved enables you to create better efficiency among machines and people. Companies that use IIoT are generating enhanced process control and eliminating downtime with this technology.
Although Genius will no longer be available for purchase or support from GE, you still have time to purchase Genius before it officially becomes unavailable.
Last Time to Get GE Genius
On June 1, 2017, Genius I/O and all its accessories will be officially discontinued and not be available for purchase from GE anymore. The official Last Time Buy notice has been issued and all orders must be placed before March 31, 2017 with orders being shipped by June 1st.
For Genius Bus Controllers, these products have been considered Mature since January 2014 and will be discontinued this year. Your orders need to be placed by March 15, 2017 and must ship by December 2017.
After these dates, you’ll no longer be able to rely on GE to support your existing Genius products. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to continuing using your Genius line of products, however.
Fortunately for Genius users, there are several options for customers assessing their future needs of Genius I/O blocks.
What the Future Holds: Keeping Genius or Replacement?
Since Genius blocks and bus controllers play such a crucial role in factory functions for many GE customers, being able to support your Genius products or else replace them is critical.
Whether you want to keep your Genius blocks to support your existing systems or replace your PLC to the newest technology, CIMTEC Automation can help. We offer our customers complete Genius support from manuals and documents to repairs and remanufactured parts. If you’re concerned about the implications of keeping your Genius setup, we can conduct a risk assessment to determine where your best potential lies.
Although GE will no longer support your Genius operations, CIMTEC has Genius users covered. We fully support your Genius line of products and when you eventually choose to migrate, we plan and implement the entire process to make it easier.
Are you concerned about Genius’ end-of-life transition or do you have questions? Call (866) 599-6507 to contact CIMTEC Automation for support or a risk assessment to be thoroughly prepared for the discontinuation of this product.