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Microsoft Industry Blogs

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Its been a challenging year for manufacturers, but also an exciting one, as they’ve been able to respond and adapt by accelerating their digital transformation journeys—and as you’ll hear from Microsoft leaders, customers, and partners at Hannover Messe 2021: Digital Edition—the benefits of digitalization are no longer questioned, it’s now about accelerating time to value, and driving adoption at scale.

To help manufacturers accelerate this journey, Microsoft’s VP of Manufacturing, Çağlayan Arkan, recently announced the Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing, available for public preview by the end of June.

What’s next for manufacturing

Çağlayan kicked off our global manufacturing agenda at Hannover Messe 2021 with a discussion on Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing with Enno de Boer of McKinsey & Co., and how it’ll help accelerate adoption of the learnings from the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Lighthouse Network.

During Çağlayan’s session, you’ll learn how COVID-19 has accelerated our customers’ investment in five key areas. And we only expect to see these investments persist into 2021 and beyond. These are areas where Microsoft and our partners can help connect experiences across your operations, workforce, design and engineering processes, customer engagements, and the end-to-end value chain with Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing solutions.

What’s next for German manufacturing

Dr. Marianne Janik and Microsoft Germany hosted a panel of our Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award (MIMA) winners from the home of Industrie 4.0, which was introduced at Hannover Messe 10 years ago. Hear from our MIMA 2020 winners including BoschDMG MORIGOLDBECK, and RHI Magnesita—and learn what goals they pursue and challenges they overcame!

What’s next for agile factories

Within the factory and beyond, security remains top of mind as we connect billions of devices and manufacturing assets to support digitalization and hybrid work. According to Frost & Sullivan, 62 percent of manufacturers are concerned about securing their solutions edge-to-cloud. To strengthen and streamline IoT and OT security we recently announced the general availability of Azure Defender for IoT. This security technology has been deployed in some of the world’s largest and most complex environments, including Global 2000 firms in manufacturing, chemicals, and life sciences. And at Hannover Messe 2021 we announced general availability of nesting capabilities for Microsoft Azure IoT Edge that conforms to ANSI/ISA-95 standard for network isolation.

Learn how to build more agile, safe, and secure factories with brownfield assets with PwCSandvikCoromant, and ZF. They also discuss how to get out of pilot purgatory, and scaling to hundreds of factories using a digital platform approach.

What’s next for hybrid work and the frontline in manufacturing

Manufacturers cite collaboration tools as the technology they implemented most in 2020. Such tools enabled them to improve productivity for remote and frontline workers. We’ve heard from many manufacturing leaders that they wouldn’t have been able to respond to the pandemic without Microsoft Teams and that they now view it as a mission-critical platform for the new normal of hybrid work.

One striking example: when travel restrictions and social distancing requirements hit, Honeywell quickly turned to RealWear and Microsoft Teams to create a virtual version of their factory acceptance testing process and keep their business moving.

At Hannover Messe 2021 Digital Edition, the team behind Microsoft Teams examined how the workforce and workplace have changed forever, and their vision for supporting hybrid work and frontline workers in manufacturing.  Microsoft Teams also hosted a LinkedIn Ask-me-Anything conversation between Emma Williams, Corporate Vice President, Modern Workplace Transformation, and Andrew Chrostowski, CEO of RealWear, facilitated by Julie Sanford, General Manager of Global Industry Marketing.

We also invite you to watch a roundtable discussion on how to transform your workforce with Microsoft Teams, Schaeffler Group, and Tulip.

What’s next for creating supply chain resilience

We’ve shared in the past how thirty of the UK’s leading companies came together—including Microsoft partners AccentureAvanadePTC, and Siemens—and used Microsoft Teams, Microsoft HoloLens, and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management to set up a brand new supply chain and produce 20 years’ worth of ventilators in 12 weeks as part of the VentilatorChallengeUK program.

Get the latest on how we are architecting resiliency into manufacturers’ supply chains with Microsoft Dynamics 365, enabling them to scale operations to meet customers’ needs, and proactively overcome disruptions, ensure business continuity, and operate profitably.

Blue Yonder joined Hannover digital twins keynote to provide some perspective on supply chain simulations and scenario planning, and we hosted a roundtable discussion with FarEyeGeek+, and o9 Solutions on how to create more resilient supply chains. You’ll also find more on-demand videos showcasing Dynamics 365 Supply Chain ManagementToolsGroup, and Blue Yonder in our virtual booth.

What’s next for engaging customers in new ways

Customers such as Lexmark and Sandvik Coromant have been digital leaders with their vision for product-as-a-service, and the pandemic has only accelerated the need for ‘always-on’ service to support hybrid work and frontline workers. To that end, Microsoft has invested in the critical scenarios that manufacturers need, leveraging Dynamics 365 to optimize support delivery and enhance customer satisfaction.

The manufacturing industry has proven to be one of the earliest adopters of mixed reality technologies—across sales, service, and on the shop floor—successfully leveraging mixed reality business applications like Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Dynamics 365 Guides across discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, automotive and more.

For deeper dives into customer use cases and our vision for mixed reality, Hololens, and always-on service, explore our virtual booth and read this week’s blogs on Dynamics 365 Guides, and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist for manufacturing.

What’s next for unlocking innovation

We believe we can accelerate innovation by empowering manufacturers to design, simulate, and validate sustainable products and processes using digital twins and the affordable, scalable power of the cloud. We also hosted two sessions at Hannover Messe 2021 that will explore how manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage with digital twins.

Watch How manufacturers are gaining a competitive advantage using digital twins, a Hannover Messe keynote on digital twins, where we’ll be discussing the next generation of digital twins with AccentureBlue Yonder, the Marsden Group, and Sight Machine.

Then watch the roundtable discussion featuring AnsysPTC, and Johnson Matthey on how to unlock innovation and deliver new services.

What’s next for manufacturing a sustainable future

As a manufacturer ourselves, Microsoft is on a mission to be carbon neutral and water positive by 2030 and erase our carbon footprint by 2050. But we will only find success by partnering with others to amplify awareness and develop joint solutions that benefit both the business and the environment.

For example, McKinsey reports that Schneider Electric has reduced 78 percent of its carbon footprint using Industry 4.0 technologies and Azure. And we have helped stainless steel manufacturer Outokumpu leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and Azure to increase output by 15 percent while reducing quality defects by 40 percent and cutting CO2 emissions. Customers have also showcased their ability to drive new product-as-a-service opportunities while addressing sustainability, such as Buhler Group with their food safety initiatives and Ecolab who is solving the world’s water challenges with Microsoft’s cloud technologies.

Finally, we discussed how to manufacture a more resilient and sustainable future with ABBAVEVA, and Bosch.

What’s next for manufacturing startups

Microsoft is committed to boosting the manufacturing ecosystem by empowering startups. As in previous years at Hannover Messe, Microsoft for Startups highlighted its links with companies in the manufacturing sector as part of our overall commitment to accelerate the trajectory of high-potential B2B startups to grow at scale. Seeq is one of the startups being featured in our virtual booth. 

Get the latest from Microsoft for Manufacturing

Stay informed about Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing to learn how you can help manufacture a more resilient and sustainable future.

Follow us on social and visit our website to get the latest on how Microsoft and our partners are helping manufacturers create a more resilient and sustainable future with Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing solutions.