As we enter into what the industry refers to as the fourth Industrial Revolution, or ‘Industry 4.0’, Microsoft believes it is intelligence that will most significantly enable Industry 4.0 in business. Simply “connecting things” is not enough.
This week at Hannover Messe 2016 in Germany, we will demonstrate how Microsoft together with its customers and partners are building ecosystems of intelligence – business ecosystems for interconnected services, people and things.
With these new ecosystems customers can enter new and profitable businesses, while improving margins, reducing waste and positively impacting the environment. Customers need devices of many shapes, sizes and capabilities to power these ecosystems, which collect, transform, analyze and make the data actionable to inform and help them improve inventory processes, track customer product usage, and how floor machinery is operating, etc. Windows 10 powers these devices from the smallest internet of things (IoT) devices, to highly mobile devices such as smartphones and 2-in-1’s, to large screen devices such as Surface Hub for collaboration and insights.
Customers require a platform that supports developing a single adaptable application that can run across multiple device form factors – only the Universal Windows 10 Platform provides this. Customers also require absolute confidence in the management, servicing and update models provided by Windows; and demand the enterprise security built into Windows 10 – the most secure operating system we’ve ever built.
This week, you’ll have an opportunity to see and hear from customers who have built solutions using our Universal Windows 10 platform, including:
- Everyone wants to drive a car that is safe and lives up to their comfort needs. IAV, an engineering services firm and worldwide pioneer of highly automated driving, is showing how drivers can be productive on the road when the car is doing the driving for them. They are using the unique Windows 10 Continuum capability to stream Windows 10 directly to a car’s dashboard to allow for safe, easy access to important data and services on the road. Specifically, the solution integrates data and services into the vehicle through devices the driver already owns such as a Windows notebook, tablet or smartphone; with features and apps like Cortana, Skype for Business, Calendar, Outlook and Groove Music.
Smart Street Lights
- SM!GHT is a corporate startup of EnBW, one of the four big power providers in Germany headquartered in Karlsruhe. SM!GHT has developed “Smart City Lights” based on Microsoft Azure to power intelligent streetlights that feature Wi-Fi hotspots, e-Mobility charging stations, an SOS-Button and environmental sensors. These smart streetlights sense things like pollution, temperature, humidity and traffic congestion, all in an effort to help planners and commuters make better decisions. The data is monitored and collected from the streetlights using a Windows 10 universal app on a tablet and analyzed in real time using Azure Stream Analytics and Machine Learning. In an instant, cities can determine which neighborhoods or routes have the highest pollution or traffic and send drivers in a different and better direction. Drivers have the possibility to avoid traffic jams, air quality improves and commuters are happier because they’re getting to their destination more quickly and less frazzled.
- Liebherr Group, a leading equipment producer that manufactures 2.4 million fridges a year, announced it will bring intelligence to pharmaceutical refrigerators and freezers with Windows IoT and Azure Stream Analytics. These refrigerators must be particularly sturdy and energy efficient as they are often used to store sensitive contents like medical supplies. Hospitals and medical companies sign legal agreements ensuring their supplies will be stored at the correct temperature, and they need fridges that will help them keep that promise. Windows IoT provides the foundation Liebherr needs with Enterprise class update, servicing, security and support required in the Medical field. The company plans to launch the SmartDeviceBox2.0 in April 2017.
Intelligent Fleet Management
- ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. ZF Services is working with Microsoft to showcase concepts of how intelligence and connectivity can be used for better fleet management along with ZF Services’ connectivity specialist, Openmatics. Together, ZF Services and Openmatics developed a dashboard on a Windows 10 universal app platform called deTAGtive logistics, powered by Microsoft Azure, to improve operational and business processes in truck and bus fleets. deTAGtive logistics collects real-time data using tags attached to a customer’s cargo and Bluetooth Smart technology. The platform stores this data in the Azure cloud, and provides truck and bus fleet managers access to real-time insights. This keeps customers informed on the location of their goods in transit as well as transportation conditions such as weather and truck speeds. The platform can also can instantly push alerts to a drivers Windows 10 phone or Microsoft Band to alert them based on specific events such as shocks to cargo, or loss or refrigeration allowing real time resolution.
Additionally, these great solutions require the right hardware and tools to bring them to life. We also saw some exciting announcements at Hannover Messe today from key partners such as:
- Dell made a number of announcements continuing their momentum in the IoT space. This included availability of the Dell Edge Gateway 5100 Model running Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT. It is a rugged device built for industrial environments including support for extended temperature ranges. Dell also launched five new accessories for the Edge Gateways, including I/O and power modules, ZigBee module, CAN bus card, and IP65 rugged enclosure.
- Together with the OPC Foundation, Microsoft announced availability of the OPC-UA stack on the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform at Hannover Messe 2016. This enables customers and partners to build OPC-UA clients and servers on all Windows 10 products (including Windows 10 IoT Core) for the first time. The global standard OPC-UA works on a secure, reliable, open, scalable, platform independent and flexible communication standard for industrial automation. This allows machine builders and IA providers to aggregate fine-grained data in the cloud from existing OPC-enabled equipment deployed across their global customer landscape. The We will show a vertical (Sensor to Cloud) and horizontal (Factory Relay) secure integration with Microsoft Azure IoT.
Microsoft recognizes the incredible pressure the manufacturing industry faces maintaining opportunities for workers and leveraging existing investments in equipment balanced with the need to protect operations from security threats and to analyze rich data to predict and drive real-time action. Together with our partners, Microsoft is at the forefront of this era, creating intelligent systems that bring together services, people and things that improve the way we work and live. We believe Windows 10 is a critical platform for this intelligence, built with the security and privacy our customers depend on to maintain a competitive edge. Please find more on Windows based Manufacturing solutions here.