Microsoft and BMW have today, announced the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) in order to speed up innovation in the manufacturing sector, specifically with a focus on industrial IoT. The two firms hope that the move can break down the barriers between complex, proprietary systems used in manufacturing.
OMP is built atop the Microsoft Azure industrial IoT cloud platform, it will be used as a reference architecture to help firms work together to drive developments. Right now, only Microsoft and BMW are involved but by the end of the year the goal is to have four to six partners in place with 15 use cases rolled out into “select production environments.”
Discussing OMP, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud + AI Group, said:
“Microsoft is joining forces with the BMW Group to transform digital production efficiency across the industry. Our commitment to building an open community will create new opportunities for collaboration across the entire manufacturing value chain.”
Speaking for BMW, Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production, said:
“Mastering the complex task of producing individualized premium products requires innovative IT and software solutions. The interconnection of production sites and systems as well as the secure integration of partners and suppliers are particularly important. 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.”
Some concrete issues that OMP will address include machine connectivity and on-premises systems integration. Partners will be able to reuse software solutions allowing them to cut down on costs and speed up their development.
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft and BMW want several additional partners by the end of the year and have now begun the process of seeking them out.