Hannover Messe 2019: Microsoft updates Azure in partnership with Electrolux, Siemens, Intel and Bühler

March 29 2019

Hannover Messe

As attendees prepare to converge on Hanover, Germany for Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial technology trade show, Microsoft is rolling out new Azure capabilities in partnership with American and European enterprises.

Çağlayan Arkan, global lead for Manufacturing and Resources Industry at Microsoft touted the company's end-to-end IoT security and advanced threat protection for Azure Security Center for IoT. The topic of IoT security is a prominent concern for prospective industrial IoT users, and the recent announcement of Azure IoT Hub, integrated with Azure Security Center, or the Sentinel security information and event management offering both fit into this overall picture.

The broad spectrum of offerings that Microsoft is set to demo at the event includes HoloLens, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365. The Azure Industrial IoT Cloud Platform comes equipped so that manufacturers can create digital twins of OPC UA-enabled machines, with support for certification management and security. Additionally, OPC twins can now integrate with the Connected Factory solution accelerator in a bid to speed up the IoT Edge installation process. Azure IP Advantage is expanding to IoT devices connected to Azure as well as extending to devices being managed with Windows IoT or Azure Sphere. In fact, Azure customers have access to up to 10,000 patents through Azure IP Advantage.  According to Arkan, startups are encouraged to join the LOT Network which grants them the option to use Microsoft patents free of charge.

Microsoft indicated that 25 other companies will be featured at its Hannover Messe booth to demonstrate IoT, mixed reality and AI crossovers. A few of those organization's stories include:

  • Sweden-based electronics giant, Electrolux, offers the Pure A9 air purifiers, based on Azure IoT Hub. They launched in September 2018 and debuted in Korea, Switzerland and the Nordic countries in February and March. The A9 is connected to an app that feeds sensor data back to users, indicating real-time air data and issuing an alert when a filter needs to be changed. Electrolux has used a similar setup to create Pure i9 an Azure-connected robotic floor vacuum. The vacuum uses a 3D camera to navigate and maps the areas it has cleaned, giving that information to users.
  • Beginning a year and a half ago, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, a Spain-based subsidiary of Siemens, migrated its wind turbine inspection operations to Azure AI process image recognition. Instead of sending technicians to rappel down remote turbines to check for cracks, Siemens Gamesa has begun deploying drones to take high resolution images which are fed into Azure to automatically conduct the inspections. The company is set to inspect 1700 turbines with drones taking 400 photos over a span of 20 minutes. To date, one project netted 100,000 photos necessitating a complex manual assembly into an overview of blade conditions, which it states that it will be able to do in 34 seconds with Azure AI, with the option to share the data more readily with customers and third-party reviewers.
  • ZEISS and Microsoft are mounting ZEISS Corona process spectrometers on food production lines and feeding visual data into Azure. The 'connected factory' initiative is intended to give food producers a better understanding of quality parameters, by assessing factors like fat or moisture content.
  • Similarly, JDA Software plans to display its Luminate Control Tower and Luminate Demand Edge at Microsoft's booth, combining AI and machine learning algorithms it acquired with its purchase of Blue Yonder in 2018, running on Azure to track supply chain performance.
  • Intel plans to jointly provide a new industrial PC reference design for industrial applications later in 2019, to help customers create custom industrial PCs with AI-based data analysis in Azure or on the machine itself.

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About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at eearls@msdynamicsworld.com.

Before joining MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon was editor for SearchNetworking.com at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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