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Apr 14 2015

Fujitsu and Microsoft Collaborate on Big Data, Internet of Things

At the Hannover Messe, Fujitsu and Microsoft announced "their collaboration to bring innovative operational excellence to manufacturing with the help of Fujitsu devices powered by Windows 8.1 Pro, the Internet of Things (IoT) services of FUJITSU Cloud A5 for Microsoft Azure, and the Fujitsu IoT/M2M (machine-to-machine) platform."

For nearly 70 years, the Hannover Messe has served as one of the world's most important trade shows and crown jewel among Germany's wide variety of fairs that include events such as drupa (printing), Light + Building (light engineering and building services), and naturally last month's CeBIT. First launched in 1947, the Hannover Messe has always been an industrial fair with a special focus on aspects like production automation, supply chain management or energy management/green technologies – and the 2015 edition is no exception to the rule. In fact, this year's overarching theme "Integrated Industry – Join the Network" provided the perfect backdrop for Fujitsu's and Microsoft's joint announcement.

According to the official press release, Fujitsu "recognized a solution was needed to optimize processing by both machines and humans," i.e. to better streamline men-machine interaction within the production process. To achieve this, Fujitsu brought together its Eco-Management Dashboard, the IoT/M2M platform, Microsoft cloud services and Windows tablets in a way that enables managers, engineers and scientists to improve product quality, optimize systems and enhance functionality while reducing costs. The solution is based on the innovative work Fujitsu performed in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan, where the company converted its semiconductor foundry into the Akisai Plant Factory, a large-scale facility that pairs cutting-edge agricultural techniques with state-of-the-art information and communication technologies, resulting in the Fujitsu Akisai agricultural cloud. Here, Fujitsu is using a portion of its clean room areas to produce lettuce that is both delicious and low in potassium so it can be consumed by dialysis patients and people with chronic kidney disease. As part of this comprehensive solution, scattered information is entered into Microsoft's Azure database and evaluated through advanced analytics and natural user interfaces. The Eco-Management Dashboard is used to help simultaneously manage product quality, process efficiency and equipment performance to improve operations and reduce energy costs. Best of all, this solution can be replicated by other manufacturers and will be an enormous step in helping companies manage and consume data in the right ways, increasing productivity while saving time and money.

"Leveraging the Fujitsu Eco-Management Dashboard solution alongside Microsoft Azure and the Fujitsu IoT/M2M platform, we are able to deliver real-time visualization of the engineering process for big data analytics to improve the entire production process and inform decision-making," said Hiroyuki Sakai, corporate executive officer, executive vice president, head of Global Marketing at Fujitsu.

For more details, please see this report from Fukushima Minpo News and the piece Chris Merriman put together for The Inquirer. Or better still, watch the video below.

 
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