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Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division Partners with Microsoft to Revolutionize Manufacturing Collaboration

by Anna

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has unveiled a strategic partnership with Microsoft, poised to redefine how engineers collaborate within the discrete manufacturing industry. The goal is to facilitate faster innovation, enhanced confidence, and the integration of virtual engineering processes with real-world product measurements through innovative solutions.

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This collaboration will leverage modern cloud infrastructure, including Microsoft 365, within Hexagon’s Nexus digital reality platform. The aim is to empower employees with cloud-accelerated simulation and AI, enhancing productivity and enabling seamless collaboration across manufacturing and engineering systems.

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The partnership seeks to transform collaboration across the manufacturing value chain by applying digital twins to accelerate product innovation.

Enhancing Collaboration with Microsoft 365 Integration

Hexagon and Microsoft have collaborated closely on the development and scaling of open-source Fluid Framework and Azure Fluid Relay services. These technologies enable real-time data sharing across various manufacturing processes and systems, facilitating immediate accessibility of data across different platforms.

Under this partnership, the Microsoft 365 ecosystem will integrate with this data layer, allowing customers to connect their daily office documents and processes with manufacturing tools. This integration enables teams to innovate using familiar tools; for instance, sharing tooling cost data from Microsoft Excel directly with a CAM programmer.

Interactive working sessions through Microsoft Teams calls will allow CAD, simulations, or metrology point clouds to be seamlessly visualized from source data, fostering rapid collaboration and iterative teamwork across engineering and manufacturing functions. Hexagon’s 3D Whiteboard Nexus tool, now available as a native app in Teams, exemplifies this capability.

Driving Innovation with AI and High-Performance Computing

Hexagon is integrating generative AI models into its manufacturing software in collaboration with Microsoft. This integration aims to optimize user capabilities by analyzing existing datasets to suggest best practices for desired outputs. Contextual advisors powered by AI will enhance productivity for expert users while accelerating the upskilling of new users.

Additionally, the partnership will leverage Microsoft Azure’s elastic and high-performance computing infrastructure to accelerate engineering simulations significantly. This acceleration streamlines design and engineering workflows, expediting product innovation.

Streamlined Access through Azure

Azure customers will access machine learning-accelerated compute services through Hexagon’s Nexus platform using their existing contracts, leveraging their established IT infrastructure for enhanced productivity.

Empowering Manufacturers with Digital Twins

By combining Hexagon’s measurement and reality capture technology with Microsoft’s cloud ecosystem, the partnership paves the way for agile and collaborative engineering applications and industrial metaverse use cases. Digital twins utilizing Azure compute for simulations can present real-time data without complex systems integration.

Ultimately, these technologies enable manufacturers to establish new workflows, shorten time-to-market, enhance factory-floor efficiencies, identify real-time manufacturing issues, and improve product quality across the entire product lifecycle.

Stephen Graham, EVP and General Manager of Nexus at Hexagon, emphasized the mission to empower the workforce with timely and optimal information, bridging the gap between virtual designs and physical products. This partnership is a significant step towards sustainable innovation and increased productivity across design, engineering, and end-of-life management.

Aleš Holeček, Corporate Vice President of the Office Product Group at Microsoft, highlighted the shared vision of advancing workplace collaboration through real-time data sharing and integration of productivity tools with engineering and operational technologies.

In summary, Hexagon and Microsoft’s strategic partnership marks a transformative initiative to reshape manufacturing collaboration, driving innovation, productivity, and efficiency across the industry. This collaboration underscores the potential for seamless integration of digital technologies to unlock new possibilities in manufacturing and engineering.

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