HANOVER, Germany, April 2 (Xinhua) -- German automaker BMW Group and Microsoft on Tuesday announced the introduction of their new community initiative, the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP), to enable faster and more cost-effective innovations in the manufacturing industry.
"Microsoft is joining forces with the BMW Group to transform digital production efficiency across the industry," Scott Guthrie, executive vice-president of Microsoft Cloud and AI Group, said at the Hanover Messe.
The profitability of production in the manufacturing industry has often been hampered by complex software systems that store data in silos, thus slowing down production, according to the companies.
"The OMP is designed to break down these barriers through the creation of an open technology framework and cross-industry community," the two companies explained in a statement.
The BMW Group and Microsoft are aiming to accelerate industrial IoT developments in the future in order to increase production efficiency.
BMW currently has over 3,000 systems, robots and autonomous transport systems connected to its IoT platform, which is built on Microsoft Azure. The German car company was planning to provide the Open Manufacturing Platform with "relevant initial use cases".
By the end of 2019, the companies are planning to work together with four to six partners on up to 15 concrete projects.
"Mastering the complex task of producing individualized premium products requires innovative IT and software solutions," said Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
"The interconnection of production sites and systems as well as the secure integration of partners and suppliers" were particularly important, Zipse added.
Other manufacturers and suppliers including companies from outside the automotive industry would be encouraged to join the OMP community the companies announced.