Hitachi and Microsoft Form a Strategic Alliance to Advance Next-Generation Digital Solutions for Manufacturing and Logistics

By Shin Kai

Category:
Acquisition or Partnership

Hitachi, Ltd. and Microsoft Corp. announced a multiyear strategic alliance to accelerate the digital transformation of the manufacturing and logistics industries across Southeast Asia, North America, and Japan.  The first solutions will be available in Thailand in July 2020.

The two companies will work together to meet the growing demand for predictive maintenance and process automation in remote areas and support enterprises as they tackle the challenges infused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Hitachi will integrate its solutions, such as Lumada, and its IoT-ready industrial controllers HX Series, with the Microsoft cloud platform, leveraging Azure, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365 to help businesses increase their workforce productivity and operational efficiency.  Lumada provides advanced digital solutions, services and technologies to turn data into insights to drive digital innovation.

Hitachi and Microsoft will also work together to support skilling initiatives that empower businesses to grow their digital capabilities and unlock new business opportunities.

Through this collaboration, Hitachi will provide solutions in the following three areas:

  • Increase manufacturing productivity: Using Hitachi Digital Supply Chain as well as Azure IoT to analyze 4M (huMan, Machine, Material, Method) data collected from manufacturing sites for the visualization and analysis of production processes to optimize factory operations and increase productivity
  • Optimize logistics with data analytics: Increasing the logistics efficiency and reducing operational costs by analyzing traffic congestion, storage locations and delivery locations and enabling smart routing to save miles and deliver faster through advanced digital technologies such as Azure Maps and Hitachi Digital Solution for Logistics/Delivery Optimization Service.
  • Predictive maintenance and remote assist: Enabling predictive maintenance, real-time remote assistance, and remote training scenarios for first-line workers leveraging, HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist as well as other smart devices.

Going forward, Hitachi intends to extend the rollout to North America and Japan.  Microsoft and Hitachi plan to expand the scope of the collaboration to additional industries.  Hitachi and Microsoft will also explore options to integrate Lumada and Azure into an industry data platform to deliver added value to mutual customers.

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