Machine Learning Drives the Future of Manufacturing: Notes from Hannover Messe

This post is authored by George Iordanescu, Francesca Lazzeri and Vivek Gupta, Data Scientists at Microsoft.

Microsoft had a strong presence at the recently concluded Hannover Messe 2016. We had a chance to interact with visitors of many backgrounds and from all over the world – a great experience for us and the rest of our team. Many business decision makers, data scientists, IT professionals, researchers and students were in attendance. There was a very high level of interest around intelligent solutions involving machine learning in areas such as forecasting, predictive maintenance and energy optimization and many others, including some very unique solutions to problems in the world of audio and video.

In his keynote talk, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, spoke about the impact digital technologies from Microsoft and others are having on industrial automation, industrial supply, production technologies, IT, services and much more. We exhibited Azure cloud based services with real life showcases from leading manufacturing giants such as Rolls Royce and Jabil, and from the power and utility world. Our partners showed how they used the Cortana Intelligence Suite to power their customer solutions and demonstrated the flexibility of the Azure platform when it comes to developing intelligent enterprise-grade cloud applications.

As data scientists, our focus was to educate our visitors on the Cortana Intelligence Suite as well as on the solution templates that help our customers navigate different problem domains and use the Azure platform to deploy specific solutions of interest to them. To minimize the learning curve, each solution template has its own playbook (e.g. Energy Demand Forecasting, Predictive Maintenance), architecture diagram (Energy Demand Forecasting, Predictive Maintenance), comprehensive technical guide (Energy Demand Forecasting, Predictive Maintenance) and experiments showing how we analyzed the data and built our ML models (Energy Demand Forecasting, Predictive Maintenance). This provides multiple viewpoints so engineers, data scientists and decision makers can see how our templates are built, deploy them in their own subscription and explore and customize them to learn about the value of the platform. We also provide powerful and interactive PowerBI visualizations to complete the end-to-end picture of how advanced analytics adds business value by providing data-driven insights that lead to faster and more accurate decisions.

Overall it was an inspiring week with many deep engaging conversations. Visitors to the Microsoft area were excited to see customer success stories from us and our partners and learned about the details of the Azure services that were used to build them. Hannover Messe this year featured many smart technologies and digital transformation breakthroughs tailored to the world of manufacturing and we look forward to being back next year with even more exciting updates to share.

George, Francesca @frlazzeri and Vivek @gkeviv