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Industry 4.0 and the magic of software at Hannover Messe

By Nina Lund, Managing Director, Worldwide Consumer Goods, Microsoft on May 11, 2017

Filed under Discrete Manufacturing

Hannover Messe 2017

A week ago, the Hannover Messe 2017 edition wound down after five intense days, 225,000 visitors and 6,500 exhibitors showcasing technological and thought-leading wonder. The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry attended in a big way as usual, and we were both honored and delighted to host many CPG companies in our booth this year.

Our booth was impressive… And yes, I’m still having these wonderland moments… From Tetra Pak’s HoloLens maintenance scenario to Rockwell Automation’s (fourth-generation) digital twin for the customizable packaging line, many of our CPG customers told us they hadn’t realized Microsoft was so active in manufacturing.  

What’s a fourth-generation digital twin, you say? It was one of the highlights of our show. Using mixed reality, technicians and operations maintenance teams can now access, in real time, a digital replica of a machine or a production line to diagnose its health. 

The ability to be able to understand what needs to be done to return to normal running patterns without actually stopping the machine is valuable to say the least, in most production scenarios. Then to enable remote access for maintenance experts using mixed reality to teach sophisticated equipment mastery at a distance was really a showcase of the magic of software.

By super-imposing digital imagery of the step-by-step guidance needed to fix a broken machine, we optimize operations and allow everyone to be their most productive as well as avoid unnecessary travel for maintenance calls.

You can learn more and see some great examples with our customers and partners in these videos.

The digital journey that our own supply chain organization showcased was also of interest, particularly the transformation from reactive to predictive to cognitive. In that context, what bubbles up as a glaring need for most, is the importance of having and articulating a data strategy. When the Internet of Your Things starts to provide you with millions of data sets per minute, having clarity on what to do with all that data becomes “the new black.”

The robot from Sarcos Robotics for those hard-to-reach places created the animation and excitement, and drew people to the booth, while OSIsoft’s PI Integrator combined with Neal Analytics’ advanced analytics scenarios at the front end enable a myriad of connected devices to transform information into actionable insights.

Ecolab’s Water Management for sustainable water consumption in manufacturing is one of my personal favorites. As shared in this case study, “The morning cup of coffee after your three-minute shower took 55 gallons of water to produce. The shirt you’re wearing commanded another 700 gallons of water to create, and the car you drove to work required a staggering 39,090 gallons to build.

“The United Nations’ 2015 World Water Development Report predicts that by 2030 demand will outpace supply by almost 40 percent and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress from lack of fresh water. Under pressure to operate more sustainably, governments and industries worldwide are turning to Ecolab for help. The company protects vital resources by helping companies achieve net-zero water usage—producing goods with infinitely recycled water—and providing access to fresh water for more people.”  

This year’s Hannover Messe show definitely produced many moments of discovery. We’re keen to work with you on sustainability topics across your business. To find out what we’re working on in supply chain, for example, you can read my blog here

We hope to see you in our booth next year!

LinkedIn: Nina Lund

Twitter: @lund_nina

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