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piece of machinery in a factoryCurrent market conditions are demonstrating how heavily the world relies on manufacturers’ abilities to operate agile factories and resilient supply chains. One great illustration of the critical role of manufacturers is explained in the inside story of how a group of rival companies came together to make ventilators for the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check our blog for more on the UK Ventilator Challenge, and some more examples of how manufacturers have been responding to the pandemic as well as how Microsoft is supporting the manufacturing community during this challenging time.

However, even before the pandemic, one manufacturer has been on a mission to “transform how everyday life is built.” Tooling and industrial materials supplier Kennametal, has been quietly helping to invent the future one material application at a time, starting with its 1938 groundbreaking tungsten–titanium carbide alloy, which transformed the metal cutting tools of the time. Since 1938, Kennametal has created the tools and industrial materials that we rely on daily, serving market segments that include aerospace, automotive, construction, mining, and oil and gas. Today, the company has nearly 9,000 employees and customers in more than 60 countries.

Kennametal understands that innovation in its products requires innovations in its processes, so the company is pumping $300 million into modernizing its facilities. And by moving business applications like SAP ERP to the cloud, and leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 business applications, Kennametal has created budget headroom and IT bandwidth for embracing new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT). Kennametal is now optimizing its operations and creating the factories of the future. There, data-driven decisions help the company increase production and boost employee engagement.

In certain areas, one of the first upgraded factories has improved machine setup times by almost 50 percent, increased press availability by 50 percent, and seen the most productive month ever in terms of pieces per day through certain departments.

Start here if you want to get deeper into the technical details of how Kennametal backs its smart factories with SAP on Azure.

As part of its digital transformation journey, Kennametal has invested heavily in Microsoft cloud technologies to reduce costs, increase productivity, and empower workers to deliver superior results for Kennametal customers. From the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and advanced data, analytical, and IoT services to Microsoft Dynamics 365 business applications and the Microsoft Power Platform, to Microsoft 365 productivity, security, and mobility tools, Kennametal believes that Microsoft resources will help the company fulfill its business promises.

Never has the role of manufacturing been more critical in creating a more resilient and sustainable future. We hope you are inspired by this collection of stories about global manufacturing specialist Kennametal and their use of Microsoft cloud solutions and services to build more agile factories, create more resilient supply chains, and to continue innovating and delivering exceptional products to its customers.