This week, one of the year’s premier events for industrial technology is taking place in Hannover, Germany. The annual Hannover Messe conference kicked off yesterday with an impactful keynote and demonstrations on the “Industrie 4.0” movement toward smarter, more efficient and connected manufacturing.
It’s the largest industrial manufacturing conference in the world, drawing thousands of participants from all corners of the globe and showcasing some truly awe-inspiring innovations — new tools, robots, software and of course, connected devices that power the Internet of Things (IoT).
We’re excited to be at the show with many great partners and to see how the flow of data from connected devices to central IT services is fueling an “intelligence revolution” that is changing the way people work and live. Along the way, we are announcing several enhancements to Azure IoT Suite that continue to drive innovation and disruption across industries.
Public preview of Azure IoT device management and Azure IoT Gateway SDK beta
A few weeks ago at //build, we announced two new offerings to streamline IoT management for businesses. This Friday April 29th at Hannover Messe, device management features for Azure IoT Hub will be broadly available in public preview, and the new Azure IoT Gateway SDK will be available in beta.
Our highly requested Azure IoT Hub device management provides a standards-based approach for administrators to maintain fine-grained control over the enrollment, configuration, update and monitoring of millions of devices, while the Azure IoT Gateway SDK provides even more control over the solution edge by allowing developers and ISVs to build and deploy code to integrate legacy devices or incorporate new business logic and workflows for handling data as soon as it’s collected from the device.
New Azure Certified for IoT partners
We’re also excited to stand side-by-side at Hannover Messe with a number of our newest partners and OEMs in the Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT program. Launched last fall to help customers get started with IoT projects quickly and successfully, the program has certified a total of 92 unique boards and gateways from 54 program partners and counting.
Today, our ecosystem of knowledgeable partners and products certified to work with Azure IoT continues to grow, with brands such as Amplified, Beckhoff Automation, Contec Co., DUX Inc., DFI Inc., Ecommot, IEI Integration Corp., Inventec Corp, Lanner Technology, Mechatrax, Pacific Control Systems, Panasonic, Plat’Home Co., SADE Group, Vantron Technology, and Yaskawa Information Systems.
Azure IoT Suite available in Microsoft Azure Deutschland
At Hannover Messe, we are also expanding the regional availability in Germany announced last month at CeBIT from Azure IoT Hub to include Azure IoT Suite. This new service allows select customers, including our German manufacturing partners, to harness Azure IoT technologies and the power of the cloud while remaining compliant with local regulations via the Microsoft Azure Deutschland cloud, a Microsoft cloud with T-Systems, a German data trustee.
A number of companies have already made plans to use the Azure Deutschland cloud. For instance, ZF, a major European provider of motion and mobility solutions, will use it to power its new deTAGtive location technology. Meanwhile, Maschinenfabrik Rheinhausen, the world market and technology leader for the regulation of power transformers, will use it to make its ValueFacturing high-performance production assistance system available as a public cloud solution.
Microsoft joins OPC Board, enables OPC UA device, telemetry in Azure
Microsoft is also announcing increased support for the OPC Foundation, which has worked for the last 20 years to help manufacturers become more efficient by promoting industrial automation standards. In addition to joining OPC’s Board, Microsoft is expanding its technical support of the OPC UA open-source software stack, which will enable deep integration with Azure IoT, as well as the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).
Customers using Azure IoT Hub will be able to easily send OPC UA telemetry data to the Azure cloud, and command and control their OPC UA devices remotely. In addition, OPC UA devices will be able to connect and communicate easily with Windows 10 applications and devices.
These capabilities will help usher manufacturers into the era of IoT, Big Data, machine learning and human-computing interfaces, resulting in an ecosystem of intelligence made up of services, people, devices and assets that work together to improve operations.
We’ll have more coming out of Hannover Messe later this week. Stop by the Microsoft booth at Hannover Messe in Hall 7, Booth C40, and as always, check out www.InternetofYourThings.com for more on what IoT can do for your business.