3 Ways Microsoft Azure is Driving Advances in Manufacturing
Manufacturing organizations continue to seek ways to improve efficiencies and drive productivity. In an increasingly competitive landscape, business leaders are looking to technology to achieve breakthroughs that help them service customers, increase revenue, and reduce costs. To meet these demands, organizations have begun incorporating the many benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) into their manufacturing operations.
Microsoft is at the leading edge of this technological revolution in manufacturing with its Azure IoT Suite. Some of the world’s most prominent manufacturers, are leveraging Azure to drive advances in three critical areas.
Manufacturing requires significant capital investment and it’s critical to keep equipment running to realize expected ROI and to properly service customers. Traditional maintenance programs can help, but inevitably equipment breaks down causing expensive downtime. thyssenkrupp Elevator has over a million units running in 150 countries and is keenly aware of the importance of keeping their elevators operating. Using the predictive maintenance capabilities of the Azure IoT suite, thyssenkrupp’s service technicians are able to identify problems before they cause breakdowns. This allows their technicians to proactively perform time-saving repairs and quicker fixes.
Rolls Royce has over 13,000 airline engines in operation around the globe. Each engine has thousands of sensors producing terabytes of data. Making sense of all that data is critical to the safe and efficient operation of each plane. Rolls Royce uses IoT Azure Suite to analyze data remotely to deliver real-time, actionable insights to pilots and the airlines about engine performance and operational efficiency. Azure’s advanced analytics help optimize fuel economy, anticipate maintenance needs, and avoid costly downtime and delays.
Keeping equipment running is the first priority of any manufacturing operation. The second is making sure that equipment is operating at peak efficiency. Using Azure, Rockwell Automation created a solution to monitor expensive capital assets in the petroleum industry and use that data to improve efficiency and drive better performance. The solution they developed collects, integrates, and organizes sensor data from remote equipment across the global supply chain to support real-time insights, predictive analytics, and preventive maintenance.
Rockwell Automation is building new forms of intelligence to transform the petroleum supply chain and keep the oil flowing through the refineries. They have connected the pumps’ electrical variable speed drives to the cloud so they can be monitored continuously. Sensors throughout the system drive data into a control gateway from Rockwell Automation to the Azure cloud where it is pushed to the engineers through digital dashboards. This provides real-time information on the equipment’s performance and health – pressure, temperature, flow rates and other calculations to ensure they are running at peak efficiency. Once engineers detect any anomaly, they can take immediate corrective action.
Enhanced Digital Manufacturing
Many companies are taking advantage of technology to move into an intelligent, digital manufacturing environment. Jabil, Fujitsu, NEC, and ZEISS are among the many companies working with Microsoft to reinvent the way they do business. Using Azure, Azure Machine Learning, Azure IoT Suite and other Microsoft solutions, these manufacturers are developing new ecosystems of intelligence that improve the way we work and live.
Fujitsu has developed an Intelligent Dashboard for connected factories running on an integrated IoT platform powered by Fujitsu and Microsoft using the Azure IoT Suite and Cortana. The Intelligent Dashboard lets customers see and understand business situations in various aspects at the global, country, factory, production, and equipment levels. Customers can compare Key Performance Indicators between countries and factories using advanced analytics.
Manufactures are realizing that modernizing not only improves the bottom line, but also increases customer satisfaction. Leveraging technology like Azure allows them to craft innovative customer interactions with connected devices and sensors, build offerings that evolve with customer needs and encourage brand loyalty. That’s a win-win for both manufacturers and customers.
As a Microsoft Partner, Interlink Cloud Services can help you leverage the power of the Azure IoT Suite.
Contact us for more information.
About the author
Matt Scherocman brings more than 15 years of experience in the information technology industry to Interlink. His experience includes both the system integrator and manufacturer sides of the business. During his time at the Microsoft Corporation he was responsible for all the Large Account Reseller (LAR) relationships in the four-state Heartland Area of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Prior to Microsoft, Scherocman led a Cincinnati -based IT consulting company to grow 5000% and become a Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year. He is actively involved in the strategic vision and operation decisions of the company including finance, selling strategy and marketing. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from Miami University and is a Certified Expert in Microsoft licensing including speaking engagements at both Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference and Channel Partner Summit. He is a frequent contributor to leading industry publications.
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