Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, end-to-end automation – advancing technological change and digitalisation present many exciting opportunities and challenges for manufacturing companies. The BMW Group is eager to embrace these – together with the right partners. The goal is for collaborative, cross-industry development of innovative industrial IoT applications. To this end, the company has launched the Open Manufacturing Platform with its partner Microsoft.
The BMW Group operates more than 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and produces more than 40 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce model variants. This adds up to around 10,000 vehicles worldwide every day, with a high percentage of individually configured customer orders in a highly complex and versatile production network. More than 3,000 machines, robots and autonomous transport systems are already connected to the BMW Group IoT platform, built on the cloud, IoT and AI services of Microsoft Azure.
“Mastering the complex task of producing individualised premium products requires innovative IT and software solutions,” says Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for production. “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 cloud services 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.”
Today, manufacturing profitability and productivity are constrained by complex, inflexible IT systems and data silos. The Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) is designed to overcome these hurdles by establishing an open technology platform and a cross-industry community. It seeks to advance development of Smart-Factory solutions that can be used jointly by the OMP community in the automotive and manufacturing industry. The goal is to speed up future industrial IoT development significantly and make production more efficient.