Microsoft announced new solutions in the manufacturing industry while sharing its vision for how technology can help transform the industry. hese innovations allow companies to develop new business models, opening doors to revenue streams and service offerings that didn’t exist five years ago.
The major three themes that stood out this year are:
* INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY AND SAFETY – New data-driven manufacturing capabilities are lowering costs and reducing waste, and also keeping people safer and mitigating our impact on the planet. MICROSOFT HOLOLENS has become an invaluable tool in taking DIGITAL TWIN TECHNOLOGY to the next level. Thanks to the explosive expansion of Industrial IoT, digital twins have become cost-effective to implement and are helping companies head off problems before they even occur, such as preventing downtime, improving equipment performance, developing new service opportunities
and even planning for the future by generating simulations and visualizing processes in mixed reality. SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC and AVEVA are leveraging HoloLens to optimize ItalPresse’s entire manufacturing process by creating virtual prototypes even before a plant or manufacturing asset is built. They will also showcase a blockchain based traceability tool for the food and beverage industry, given the growing complexities with tracing food products.
* INCREASED MONETIZATION – ABB is leveraging Microsoft’s Azure cloud technologies for its ABB ABILITYTM PLATFORM, one of the largest Industrial IoT platforms in the industry. Leveraging AI from Microsoft, it can empower organizations to optimize Enterprise Asset Management and automatically detect anomalies to minimize maintenance costs across its customers’ install base.
* INCREASED COLLABORATION – By 2020, IDC predicts that 60 percent of plant floor workers will work alongside assistance technologies that enable automation, such as robotics, 3D printing, AI and mixed reality. TOYOTA MATERIAL HANDLING EUROPE is planning its 10-year vision for the factory of the future by evolving its traditional lean processes. Its goal is to find more efficient ways to distribute intelligent logic across the factory and its robotic systems. This would drastically reduce disruptions to warehouse operations, one of the key roadblocks to deploying autonomous systems.
INVESTING IN INDUSTRIAL IOT
This year we have a new set of robust Azure IoT features we are demonstrating at our booth, including:
* AUTOMATIC DISCOVERY SERVICE FOR CONNECTED FACTORY: We’ve simplified how manufacturers can onboard and secure industrial assets, which significantly reduces administration costs. It also includes an OPC (Open Platform Communications) UA (Unified Architecture) Global Discovery Server (GDS) interface for compatibility with existing clients and servers.
* AZURE IOT HUB AND DEVICE MANAGEMENT ON AZURE STACK: We are bringing Azure IoT Hub to Azure Stack, empowering customers and partners to build Industrial IoT solutions which run entirely on-premises or off, as well as collect and analyze near real-time data within their facility.
* AZURE SPHERE: We’ve made an even stronger commitment to securing ‘edge’ devices by announcing a preview of Azure Sphere,  the first holistic platform to provide industrial-grade security for connected microcontroller units (MCU) devices, 9 billion of which are expected to ship this year in machines ranging from home appliances to industrial equipment in factories.
* AZURE TIME SERIES INSIGHTS: In response to manufacturers’ requests, Microsoft is planning a new update to Times Series Insights (TSI), a service that that adds massively scalable storage and data archiving capabilities and reduces storage costs.
@Technuter.com News Service