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Microsoft has joined forces with the BMW Group to launch the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP). The initiative is to lend support to the development of smart factory solutions that will be shared by OMP participants across the automotive and broader manufacturing sectors.

The goal is to significantly accelerate future industrial IoT developments, shorten time to value and drive production efficiencies while addressing common industrial challenges, the duo said.

Built on the Microsoft Azure industrial IoT cloud platform, the OMP is intended to provide community members with a reference architecture with open source components based on open industrial standards and an open data model.

With currently over 3,000 machines, robots and autonomous transport systems connected with the BMW Group IoT platform, which is built on Microsoft Azure’s cloud, IoT and AI capabilities, the BMW Group plans to contribute relevant initial use cases to the OMP community.

One example is the company’s use of their IoT platform for the second generation of its autonomous transport systems in the BMW Group plant in Regensburg, Germany, one of 30 BMW Group production and assembly sites worldwide.

The broader OMP community is being formed now, with recruitment of additional partners underway.

By the end of 2019, the OMP Advisory Board is likely to be in operation with an initial set of four to six partners in place and a minimum of 15 use cases rolled out into select production environments.

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