The platform will help address common industrial challenges such as machine connectivity and on-premises systems integration.
Microsoft Corp. and the BMW Group have teamed up to announce a new initiative to drive open industrial IoT development and help grow a community to build future Industry 4.0 solutions.
In manufacturing, production and profitability can be hindered by complex, proprietary systems that create data silos and slow productivity.
The Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP), the new initiative by Microsoft and BMW, is designed to break down these barriers through the creation of an open technology framework and cross-industry community to enable faster and more cost-effective innovation in the manufacturing sector.
It aims to significantly accelerate future industrial IoT developments, shorten time to value and drive production efficiencies while addressing common industrial challenges.
Built on the Microsoft Azure industrial IoT cloud platform, the OMP is intended to provide community members with a reference architecture with open source components based on open industrial standards and an open data model.
“Microsoft is joining forces with the BMW Group to transform digital production efficiency across the industry,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud + AI Group.
“Our commitment to building an open community will create new opportunities for collaboration across the entire manufacturing value chain,” he added.
BMW’s IoT use cases to be made available to OMP community
With currently over 3,000 machines, robots and autonomous transport systems connected with the BMW Group IoT platform, which is built on Microsoft Azure’s cloud, IoT and AI capabilities, the BMW Group plans to contribute relevant initial use cases to the OMP community.
Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production, commented, “We have been relying on the cloud since 2016 and are consistently developing new approaches. With the Open Manufacturing Platform as the next step, we want to make our solutions available to other companies and jointly leverage potential in order to secure our strong position in the market in the long term.”
As per the two companies, the OMP will help address common industrial challenges such as machine connectivity and on-premises systems integration. This will facilitate the reuse of software solutions among OEMs, suppliers and other partners, significantly reducing implementation costs.
The OMP Advisory Board is expected to be in operation with an initial set of four to six partners in place and a minimum of 15 use cases rolled out into select production environments by the end of 2019.