Hitachi and Microsoft partner in logistics digitalisation

By Sean Galea-Pace
Hitachi and Microsoft has partnered to accelerate the digitalisation of the manufacturing and logistics sector in Southeast Asia, North America and Japa...

The multi-year strategic alliance will see the two organisations work together to meet the growing demand for predictive maintenance and process automation in remote areas and support enterprises as they tackle the challenges infused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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, Dynamic 365 and Microsoft 365 to enable businesses to increase their workforce productivity and operational efficiency. 

The first solutions are set to be available in Thailand in July 2020, but Hitachi intends to extend the rollout to North America and Japan.

“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,” Jun Abe, Vice President and Executive Officer, CEO of Industry & Distribution Business Unit, Hitachi Ltd. “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.”

“Building resilient and flexible digital supply chains is critical to grow a business and meet customer needs in today’s fast-changing environments,” added Çağlayan Arkan, Vice President Manufacturing at Microsoft. “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 mindset and digital capabilities.”

As a result of this collaboration, Hitachi will provide solutions in three key areas:

  • Increase manufacturing productivity: Through Hitachi Digital Supply Chain as well as Azure IoT to analyse 4M data collected from manufacturing sites for the visualisation and analysis of production processes to optimise factory operations and increase productivity. 
  • Optimise logistics with data analytics: Increasing the logistics efficiency and decreasing 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.
  • 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.
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