Microsoft wants to lift maintenance function

Microsoft's partnership with Otis Elevator, announced at Hannover Messe in Germany, is designed to digitally monitor operations and improve maintenance and safety.


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said his company will provide a system of intelligence to help with remotely operate and maintain machines. Courtesy: CFE MediaMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella sees his company's role in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as the platform from which companies will build their own software solutions.

Otis Elevator Company president Philippe Delpech is in the business of moving platforms to achieve business success. In announcing his company's partnership with Microsoft at a press conference April 24 at Hannover Messe, Delpech said his company will use that digital platform to improve its operation and better use its workers.

"Otis invested the elevator; without it, New York and Chicago might never existed. There would be no building above three stories," said Delpech. "One of the reasons we have led the industry for 163 years is that we have been innovative as a company. We also have been a service innovation. We have two million elevators around the world and transport two billion people a day.

"In that process, we collect a phenomenal amount of data," Delpech added. If we want to lead the industry over the next 163 years, we have to manage the elevators in a connected, smarter way, and we need to manage our employees and our maintenance in a much more connected way."

Otis will expand its existing relationship with Microsoft by adding cloud computing and smart analytics to its service network, which currently spends 60 million hours servicing the Otis network of elevators and escalators worldwide.

"Digital technology is in all of our lives, all of our businesses," Nadella said. "It's no longer just about us providing a digital system. It's about Otis using our digital platforms to create their own digital product. The elevator itself is a digital product. Every elevator can have analytical ability and predictive ability. That is what I describe as a system of intelligence. That's what the theme of this conference is about—digital things being created by industrial companies. Empowering that transformation is what Microsoft's mission is all about.

Nadella said the opportunities around cloud computing and predictive analytics for manufacturers and maintenance teams will begin with the software platform, but will be driven by individual companies such as Otis for their internal needs.

"It isn't like we didn't use information before," said Nadella. "What is interesting in this area is the a digital feedback loop that gives you information on how improve continuously is software-driven. That digital feedback loop is a now a new capability.

That will create a fundamental change for Otis as its transforms its two million elevators and escalators from devices that lift people to interactive machines. "The way we are going to maintain the machine will influence the way we design the machine," Delpech said.

Bob Vavra is content manager, CFE Media,

ONLINE extra

See additional stories about Hannover Messe 2016 linked below.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me