Manufacturing organizations keep on looking for approaches to improve efficiencies and drive profitability. In a competitive landscape, business pioneers are seeking technology that helps them, service customers, reduce costs, and increase revenue. To satisfy these needs, organizations have started incorporating numerous advantages of the Internet of Things (IoT) into their manufacturing activities.

Microsoft is at the main edge of this mechanical upheaval in manufacturing with its Azure IoT Suite. A portion of the world’s most prominent manufacturers, are utilizing Microsoft cloud for manufacturing to drive progress. Let us find out how Microsoft Azure IoT Suite is contributing to the manufacturing industry especially during pandemic times.

Predictive maintenance

Manufacturing requires huge capital investment to keep machines running in order to get expected ROI and to offer better customer service. Traditional maintenance programs can’t help with inevitable equipment breakdown which may cause expensive downtime for the business. For eg. ThyssenKrupp Elevator has more than 1,000,000 units running across 150 nations. Imagine what would happen if these elevators suddenly stop working? Of course, the whole production process will come to end, therefore, it is very important for elevators to continuously operate. To ensure this, ThyssenKrupp’s service technicians utilize the predictive maintenance capabilities of the Microsoft Azure IoT suite and recognize issues before they cause breakdowns. This permits their technicians to proactively perform efficient and faster fixes.

Rolls Royce has more than 13,000 aircraft motors in action all throughout the globe. Every motor has many sensors incorporated in it that produce terabytes of information. Rolls Royce utilizes IoT Azure Suite to analyze produced information remotely in order to deliver real-time, noteworthy bits of knowledge to pilots and the aircraft about motor execution and operational effectiveness. Microsoft Azure IoT suite helps in advanced analytics that is used to optimize fuel economy, stay away from expensive downtime and delays. This is how organizations can predict maintenance using Azure for manufacturing.

Also Read – What’s new in the latest Azure IoT Edge 1.1.0 Release?

IoT Benefits in Manufacturing

Improved Efficiency

Keeping equipment running is the main goal of any manufacturing process. The second is ensuring that the machine is working at its peak efficiency productivity. Rockwell Automation has used Azure to monitor assets in the oil business and utilize that data to improve proficiency and drive better execution. The arrangement they created gathers, coordinates, and puts together sensor information from remote hardware across the worldwide production network to support real-time insights and preventive maintenance.

Sensors all through the system drive information into a control gateway from Rockwell Automation to the Azure cloud where it is pushed to the architects through advanced dashboards. This gives constant data on the equipment’s performance and health – pressure, temperature, stream rates, and different computations to guarantee they are running at top productivity. When architects recognize any inconsistency, they can make a quick remedial move.

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Transforming the Workforce

Manufacturers are taking the help of Azure for manufacturing industrial IoT solution that helps them train and reskill their employees to act on data insights. It gives them the ability to fill the skill gaps along with secure remote work and increased safety for frontline workers. For eg. A company ‘Honeywell’ has taken the help of Microsoft Teams to create a virtual version of their factories to keep business moving in pandemics.

Customers are likewise utilizing Microsoft Power Platform to help their labor force get back to the working environment with confidence. In June 2020, Microsoft dispatched a worldwide abilities activity and built up its commitment to reskilling the 25 million individuals jobless because of the pandemic.

Resilient Supply Chains

For a Resilient supply chain, visibility and connectedness play a major role. At the very start of Covid 19, thirty UK’s biggest companies came together and used Microsoft Teams, Dynamic 365, and Microsoft HoloLens to set up a new supply chain and produce 20 years’ worth of ventilations within just 12 weeks.

Digital Manufacturing

Numerous organizations are moving into a digital manufacturing environment with the help of technology. For eg., Fujitsu, NEC, Jabil, and ZEISS are among those organizations which are working with Microsoft to reevaluate the manner in which they work together. Utilizing Azure, Azure Machine Learning, Azure IoT Suite, and other Microsoft arrangements, these manufacturing companies are developing new ecosystems that improve the manner in which we work and live.

Fujitsu has built up an Intelligent Dashboard utilizing the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and Cortana. The Intelligent Dashboard allows customers to see and comprehend business circumstances from different perspectives at the worldwide, country, industrial facility, creation, and equipment levels. Clients can look at Key Performance Indicators among nations and production lines utilizing advanced analytics.

Azure IoT Suite – Connecting Things to the Cloud

What is Azure IoT suite? Microsoft has offered Azure IoT Suite to help customers realize business value from IoT. The Azure Suite eases the hard work involved in deploying and orchestrating various services to give end-to-end solutions. With this, customers can get started quickly, and customize solutions as their needs evolve. It also offers the Azure IoT device SDK that runs on a variety of operating systems and devices. You will also get step-by-step guidance and sample code that eases to build prototypes with real devices that communicate with the Azure Suite.

Also Read – Why Azure is perfect for Cloud-bound financial services?

Anatomy of an Azure IoT Solution

When you deploy a remote monitoring pre-configured solution on a cloud platform, it creates instances of the below-given Azure services.

Azure IoT Hub – IoT Hub is the highlight of an Azure IoT solution, serving as the cloud gateway for “things” to interface or connect with. It can expand to millions of connections for each hub and can deal with monstrous volumes of information. It additionally gives the capacity to communicate from the Cloud back to the devices it knows, hence empowering command and control abilities. The IoT Hub likewise plays a significant part in assisting with getting your solution by giving device validation/authentication support.

Blob Storage – It is used to store data that IoT devices send to the cloud.

DocumentDB – It is used to deal with the metadata about devices provisioned such as state and security properties of the device or configuration of the device etc. The semi-structured model permits you to effectively consolidate different device types with different data blueprints.

Web App – These apps are deployed to monitor the device data dashboard and based on that send commands to devices, update business logic, etc. Web Jobs are utilized to identify when Stream Analytics has matched with a pattern in the device telemetry stream.

Stream Analytics – It is used to detect anomalies and archive data from IoT devices. It analyzes data that devices send to the IoT hub and allows you to write stream processing logic. After this processing, data can be passed to other services such as Power BI or other storage services.

Logic App – It is used to integrate IoT solutions into existing infrastructure. Developers can design the workflows that need a trigger to start and execute a series of steps to integrate business processes.

Azure IoT Hub Pricing

Microsoft has different pricing models for Azure IoT hub for different regions. You can explore pricing options and customize them as per your needs by entering your region. In the below-given table, you can have a glance at the pricing model in Central US for Basic and Standard Tier.

Basic Tier

Edition Type
Price per Azure IoT Hub unit (per month)
Total number of messages/day per IoT Hub unit
Message meter size
B1$104,00,0004KB
B2$5060,00,0004KB
B3$50030,00,00,0004KB

Standard Tier

Edition Type
Price per Azure IoT Hub unit (per month)
Total number of messages/day per IoT Hub unit
Message meter size
FreeFree8,0000.5KB
S1$254,00,0004KB
S2$25060,00,0004KB
S3$2,50030,00,00,0004KB

Conclusion

Leveraging technology like Microsoft Azure for manufacturing allows manufacturers to build offerings that evolve with customer needs and thus encourage brand loyalty. Each business is on its digital journey to boost productivity, gain agility and sustainability. Azure engineers help companies turn raw data received from sensors and other IoT devices into actionable insights which help in better customer servicing. Therefore, if you want to hire Azure engineers, PeoplActive can bring the best-fit Azure cloud experts matching the skillset you are looking for.

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