Innovations for the manufacturing industry: these are the winners of the Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award 2024 with Roland Berger

The winners of the Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award (MIMA) 2024 have been announced and will be presented on the website from today. This is the fifth time that Microsoft Germany and the strategy consultancy Roland Berger have awarded their coveted prize to pioneering solutions for the manufacturing industry. The winners were selected by a high-ranking jury of experts from industry, science and consulting.

Under the motto “Accelerate, Innovate, Empower.”, industrial companies from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were invited to submit pioneering digital solutions for the manufacturing, process, construction and automotive industries for the competition. From the applications, 15 finalists were selected to present their projects at a pitch day for the MIMA. After extensive evaluations and discussions, the jury selected the six best projects that are not only innovative, but also have the potential to drive digital change throughout the industry.

The future of manufacturing will be determined by innovation and new forms of collaboration, and the Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award honors the best solutions for this,“ says Nico Hartmann, Manufacturing Industry Lead at Microsoft Germany. „This year’s winners impressively demonstrate how to find new ways to achieve greater efficiency, better quality and more sustainability. The MIMA recognizes this commitment and encourages further steps in the digitalization of the manufacturing industry.“

Congratulations to all participants for their impressive achievements! „, says Jochen Gleisberg, Partner at Roland Berger and member of the expert jury. „Once again this year, we were able to see how creative and innovative companies in the manufacturing industry are. Their perseverance and commitment to excellence are inspiring and show the strong spirit of innovation that exists in the industry.“

These are the winners of the Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award 2024 in the various categories:

Mercedes-Benz: Overall victory for the MO360 Data Platform

The overall win of the Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award 2024 goes to Mercedes-Benz AG and its MO360 data platform. With the MO360 production ecosystem, Mercedes-Benz has already set milestones for digital production in 2020. Vehicle production in the more than 30 Mercedes-Benz plants worldwide has become transparent and highly efficient. With the implementation of the MO360 Data Platform in October 2022, the company has expanded its digital ecosystem to include a cloud for monitoring and analysing production-relevant data and leveraging the potential of artificial intelligence (AI).

The platform is based on Microsoft Azure and provides Mercedes-Benz with the flexibility and cloud computing power to deploy artificial intelligence and data analytics globally, democratising relevant production data while meeting regional cybersecurity and compliance standards. Production data is analysed and visualised in real time within the platform in order to optimise production processes more quickly and, for example, identify potential bottlenecks in the supply chain at an early stage. This enables dynamic allocation of resources within and between plants, for example to prioritise parts availability in the production of luxury cars.

“Extending our MO360 ecosystem with the MO360 Data Platform has made our global manufacturing network smarter, more sustainable and more resilient. It provides an optimal basis for democratising production-relevant data and integrating AI applications into our vehicle production,” says Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management, Mercedes-Benz Group AG – Production, Quality & Supply Chain Management. “Cloud-based real-time analysis is a key factor in data-driven production. We are therefore delighted to receive the prestigious Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award.”

Northvolt: Innovative solution for sustainable battery production (“Innovate!”)

The winner in the „Innovate!“ category comes from Sweden. Northvolt wins with its innovative solution for more sustainable battery production: its Particle Trap System is a groundbreaking innovation for monitoring technical cleanliness that combines procedural enhancements, a user-friendly app, and cutting-edge technologies. Using the Power Platform, Northvolt has seamlessly integrated advanced analytics, an AI image recognition classification mode and Microsoft Copilot within a remarkably short timeframe. This ensures speed to the release, cost-effectiveness, and adaptability to the Swedish company’s organizational processes. And it helps to make Northvolt’s battery production even more sustainable.

Vogelperspektive einer verschneiten Northvolt-Fabrik

Malvern Panalytical, a Spectris company: Real-time nitrogen monitoring for precision farming („Scale!“)

This year’s award in the „Scale!“ category goes to the British company Malvern Panalytical and its innovative solution for „Precision Farming“: this is a new approach to agriculture that uses data analysis and state-of-the-art technologies to optimize crop production and reduce its impact on the environment. The innovative „Smart Return Agriculture“ solution from Malvern Panalytical combines a VIS-NIR sensor with cloud-based artificial intelligence to measure the nitrogen content of leaves and soil, the occurrence of diseases and the ripeness of fruit in real time. This new technology allows crop producers to precisely monitor nitrogen levels and adjust their fertilizer levels accordingly. This leads to higher yields, lower costs and less environmental pollution. The collaboration with a banana grower has already led to fertilizer savings of 20 to 30 percent through real-time adjustments to nitrogen application.

Wilo: Adaptive worker assistance for individual assembly instructions („Add Value!“)

Wilo wins in the „Add Value!“ category with its „adaptive worker assistance“, which the German technology company uses in its Smart Factory in Dortmund, where it produces pumps and pump systems. The new solution provides employees with precise step-by-step instructions on the assembly of 12,000 product variants via screens and adapts to each person individually. The more experienced a production worker is and the lower their error rate, the more compact the content is displayed. The integration of augmented reality technology further simplifies the use of the adaptive worker assistance. Its introduction shortens the training period for new employees, enables more flexible deployment and helps to increase quality and productivity.

ANDRITZ: Paving the way for autonomous pulp mills (“Disrupt!”)

Austrian-based technology company ANDRITZ received the award in the “Disrupt!” category for its digital platform Metris, which enables autonomous pulp mill operation. ANDRITZ has long supported its customers in improving their production processes, and with Metris the company is now now offering pulp mills a five-level concept towards autonomous manufacturing. The innovative concept has already been successfully implemented at varying levels in 39 pulp mills worldwide. One mill has achieved 97 percent autonomy, well above the industry standard of 60-65 percent, and increased productivity by 18 percent. The Metris digital platform addresses a range of challenges including operating costs, process stability, plant reliability and sustainability throughout the lifecycle of an industrial plant.

Danfoss: Less food waste and energy consumption in supermarkets („Sustainability!“)

This year’s award in the „Sustainability!“ category goes to the Danish company Danfoss: its Azure-based platform Alsense® enables food retailers and their suppliers to make data-based decisions in order to manage thousands of stores efficiently and in a resource-saving manner. Alsense® automates and prioritizes tasks in areas such as system maintenance, energy monitoring and food safety directly in the cloud for the supermarket. In addition, the platform offers round-the-clock monitoring, which also enables remote diagnostics and interventions, meaning fewer trips by service technicians are required. By using Alsense®, food waste can be reduced by up to 30 percent and energy consumption by 12 percent.

Admission to the MIMA Champions Circle

In addition to the six winning companies, eight other finalists from this year’s competition will be joining the exclusive MIMA Champions Circle:

  • Alfa Laval (Sweden)
  • Bühler Group (Switzerland)
  • Halma (United Kingdom)
  • Heidelberg Materials (Germany)
  • Kongsberg Digital (Norway)
  • McLaren (United Kingdom)
  • Siemens (Germany)
  • Volkswagen Navarra (Spain)

Together with the winners of MIMA 2024, they will become part of an exclusive network platform for technologically leading companies in the manufacturing industry, consisting of all the finalists from previous years. A complete list of all award winners and finalists as well as a list of the jury members can be found here:

Weitere Zitate aus den Gewinner-Unternehmen:

Further quotes from the winning companies:

Jan Brecht, Chief Information Officer of Mercedes-Benz Group AG:

“On the way to becoming a software-driven organization, data is becoming a priority for all of us. In the production environment, the MO 360 Data Platform delivers data efficiently and with easy GenAI-based access using natural language. This is how we democratize data from machines, vehicles, and processes. These can be accessed in real time and our employees can make data-based decisions using drill-down dashboards. The data platform is a great achievement of our cross-functional production and IT teams.”

Fredrik Ohlsson, Vice President of IT, Northvolt:

“The successful implementation of the Particle Trap System marks a significant milestone in Northvolt’s journey towards operational excellence and environmental responsibility. By leveraging advanced technologies and a holistic approach, we are setting new standards for technical cleanliness monitoring in battery manufacturing. This project underscores our commitment to innovation, sustainability, and delivering the highest quality products to our customers.”

Claudius Ehret, Chief Information Officer, Malvern Panalytical:

“We’re delighted that Smart Return Agriculture has been recognized by the MIMA awards in the ‘Scale’ category. This solution is a highly-effective and cost-efficient way to improve global food security while also supporting climate action and environmental protection – aligning perfectly with Malvern Panalytical’s goal to make the world cleaner, healthier and more productive.”

Georg Weber, Member of the Executive Board and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Wilo Group:

“The MIMA recognizes our exceptional innovative strength. We are proud of that! The Wilo Group sees itself as a digital pioneer in its industry. A claim that we naturally also live up to in our production processes. The adaptive worker assistance system shows how digitalization in the industry creates tangible added value – without neglecting people. Because at Wilo, the focus is always on people.”

Daniel Schuck, Vice President of Digital Products and Solutions – Pulp & Paper, ANDRITZ:

“The journey of developing an Autonomous Pulp Mill started long ago with the major challenges from our customers in mind, such as reducing chemicals and energy consumption, increasing production, reducing emissions, and dealing with a fast-aging workforce. Creating solutions to address our customers‘ main challenges is in ANDRITZ’s DNA, and we can and will contribute to society by developing technologies that enable respectful and sustainable utilization of our planet’s resources. This is a big deal, and it is part of our purpose. We are extremely proud to have received this recognition from Microsoft and Roland Berger, and we would like to thank our customers who, together with us, are reshaping the pulp industry.”

Jürgen Fischer, Segment President, Danfoss Climate Solutions:

“Winning in the sustainability category fills us with pride, as it reflects our dedication to making a positive impact on the environment. None of this would have been possible without our colleagues and customers, particularly the food retail customers, whose commitment to reducing carbon emissions and enhancing energy efficiency inspires us every day. A profound and heartfelt thank you to Roland Berger and Microsoft for this prestigious recognition.”

About Microsoft

Microsoft Deutschland GmbH was founded in 1983 as a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, U.S.A.). In Germany, we employ over 3,000 people at our seven locations in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart and Walldorf. Together with our 30,000 partners in Germany, we support companies with innovative solutions for the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge so that they are successfully positioned for digital transformation. Microsoft is also a global leader in many other areas such as productive software solutions, IT security, innovative hardware and development platforms, which are also based on open source technology. We also connect more than 950 million people worldwide through our LinkedIn career network. With Xbox and Game Pass, we enable a cross-platform gaming experience. In addition, Microsoft is involved in a wide range of initiatives and projects together with politicians, businesses and scientists so that everyone can participate in the progress of the digital society.

About Roland Berger

Roland Berger is a leading global strategy consultancy with a broad range of services for all relevant industries and corporate functions. Roland Berger was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Munich. The strategy consultancy is best known for its expertise in transformation, cross-industry innovation and performance improvement and is committed to embedding sustainability in all its projects. In 2022, Roland Berger recorded a turnover of around 870 million euros.

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19. März 2024
Innovationen für die Fertigungsindustrie: Das sind die Gewinner des Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award 2024 mit Roland Berger

Die Gewinner des Microsoft Intelligent Manufacturing Award (MIMA) 2024 stehen fest. Schon zum fünften Mal haben Microsoft Deutschland und die Unternehmensberatung Roland Berger zukunftsweisende Lösungen für die Fertigungsindustrie mit ihrem begehrten Preis ausgezeichnet. Die Gewinner wurden von einer hochrangigen Jury mit Fachleuten aus Industrie, Wissenschaft und Beratung ausgewählt.