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Hitachi and Microsoft Push for Industry 4.0 in New Alliance

Hitachi and Microsoft forged last Thursday a multi-year strategic alliance to meet the growing demand for predictive maintenance and process automation in the manufacturing and logistics industries across Southeast Asia, Japan and North America.

Image by Livia Wong from Pixabay

As part of the agreement, Hitachi will integrate its industry-leading 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.

The first solutions will be available in Thailand within the next few weeks of July.

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Microsoft and combine our OT, IT and products excellence to provide manufacturing and logistics companies with digital solutions. We use Lumada to provide total seamless solutions to solve challenges by connecting cyberspaces with physical spaces. Through this collaboration with Microsoft, we will be able to accelerate our customers’ digital transformation and continue to deliver social, environmental and economic value,” said Jun Abe, vice president and executive officer, CEO of Industry & Distribution Business Unit at Hitachi.

The two companies 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 analyse 4M data collected from manufacturing sites for the visualization and analysis of production processes to optimize factory operations and increase productivity.

  • Optimise logistics with data analytics: Increasing the logistics efficiency and reducing operational costs by analysing 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 Optimisation Service.

An image of a logistics optimisation and operational efficiency tool built with Hitachi Digital Solution for Logistics/Delivery Optimisation 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.

“Building resilient and flexible digital supply chains is critical to grow a business and meet customer needs in today’s fast-changing environments. By expanding our collaboration with Hitachi, we’ll unlock new opportunities for manufacturing and logistics companies as they strive to lead in their industries and pioneer with a data-driven mind-set and digital capabilities,” said Çağlayan Arkan, vice president for manufacturing at Microsoft.

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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