Microsoft, BMW Express New Commitment to Open Platforms
Microsoft and the BMW Group are taking a stance on advancing innovation in manufacturing with the launch of the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP), which is built on the Microsoft Azure industrial IoT cloud platform. The companies announced the launch at Hannover Messe 2019, an industrial technology trade show this week in Hannover, Germany.
The OMP is a reference architecture and open data model combined with a community approach to addressing the common challenges encountered in industrial production. The new platform is designed to get manufacturers to work together to eliminate data silos and overcome the challenges associated with complex, proprietary systems that impede production optimization.
“We’ve set up an initial approach and are actively working to bring new community members on board,” Sam George, director, Azure Internet of Things, at Microsoft, wrote in a blog.
The OMP community is being formed and is recruiting additional partners.
“The OMP provides a single open platform architecture that liberates data from legacy industrial assets, standardizes data models for more efficient data correlation, and, most importantly, enables manufacturers to share their data with ecosystem partners in a controlled and secure way, allowing others to benefit from their insights,” George wrote.
BMW Group has more than 3,000 machines, robots and autonomous transport systems connected with the its IoT platform, which is built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, IoT and AI capabilities. The BMW Group represents four brands: BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motoradcar. It plans to contribute relevant initial use cases to the OMP community.
“Mastering the complex task of producing individualized premium products requires innovative IT and software solutions,” said Oliver Zipse, member of the board of management of BMW AG, Production. “The interconnection of production sites and systems as well as the secure integration of partners and suppliers are particularly important.”
There was another significant announcement made Tuesday by SAP at Hannover Messe — the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. The Alliance incudes members who are committed to creating a standardized and open ecosystem for operating highly automated factories and plants, including logistics and services.
There are about a half-dozen founding members, but the Alliance is open to all companies. Microsoft’s George said that OMP and the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance are complementary visions.
The OMP Advisory Board is expected to be operating by the end of the year and will include four to six partners and a minimum of 15 use cases rolled out into select production environments.