By joining the Swiss Smart Factory (SSF), Microsoft is contributing as a technology and innovation partner to accelerating the digital transformation in the manufacturing industry in Switzerland and its neighboring countries. Particularly, small and medium-sized enterprises should benefit from this cooperation.
Digitalization is playing an increasingly decisive role in the competitiveness of companies and Switzerland as a business location – especially when it comes to the topic of Industry 4.0. “Medium-sized companies in particular are often unable to tackle the topic on their own and need concrete support or at least suggestions to get started. The Swiss Smart Factory is the place to be,” says Martin Haas, SMC Lead at Microsoft Switzerland. The SSF, as part of the Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne (SIPBB) and as an internationally recognized center of excellence for application-oriented research in the field of Industry 4.0, is also committed to this topic.
That is why Microsoft, together with more than 50 partners of the SSF, is building the first state-of-the-art neutral Industry 4.0 test and demonstration platform with lighthouse character for the Swiss workplace. From early summer 2021, the elements of a smart factory will be made tangible for visitors in concrete and networked applications on a live production line.
Maintaining a 3D printer farm with HoloLens
One example: with the networked 3D printing farm as part of the smart production line, nine 3D printers will be used to manufacture the rotors of drones and simultaneously simulate a global production network. Visitors can experience live how Microsoft, together with its partners, enables topics such as “Factory Intelligence” or “Predictive Maintenance” based on the Microsoft Azure Cloud and what added value such digital solutions bring. Mixed reality applications of the start-up holo|one and Microsoft will show how the plant can be better maintained and how the processes can be visualized on the HoloLens 2 from Microsoft. An exchange with experts and partners on site provides visitors with additional and helpful information for implementations in their own companies.
With Microsoft joining the SSF, a strong technology partner aims at taking the possibilities of previous Industry 4.0 applications to a new level. “For the first time, the stand-alone demonstrators can be networked with each other – the SSF is relying on the strengths of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform here,” underlines Dr. Ing. Dominic Gorecky, Head of the Swiss Smart Factory.
With Microsoft Azure, manufacturing processes are modernized, customers are offered greater benefits with apps and solutions, resources are networked and Big Data is condensed into actionable insights. In an ecosystem of science and research, industry and start-ups, unique innovations and activities are created around the topic of Industry 4.0.