Weidmüller aims for widespread roll-out of machine learning in industry

Christoph Berlin (l.), Partner Program Manager, Azure Industrial IoT of Microsoft Corporation, took the stage together with Tobias Gaukstern (r.), Head of the Weidmüller Industrial Analytics Business Unit, at the joint opening speech. Onuora Ogbukagu (m.), Head of Marketing and Communications at Deutsche Messe AG, moderated the questions that followed.

Weidmüller presented its Automated Machine Learning software at the Hannover Messe Preview, and together with Microsoft is aiming for widespread roll-out of machine learning in industry.

Hanover/Detmold, 13 February 2020. The Hannover Messe Preview on 12 February in Hanover has shown: There are literally no other sectors currently faced with as many challenges as the manufacturing industry in Germany. In just a few more weeks, Hannover Messe will open its doors. However, visitors and journalists were given a sneak preview of the key trends and tendencies at the Preview event. Under the motto “Pioneering Industrial Connectivity – Easy. Flexible. Efficient.”, Weidmüller presented its Automated Machine Learning Tool – software that enables users in the manufacturing industry to create and use machine learning models independently, without the need for any specific knowledge of machine learning. “This solution shows that we are a pioneer in machine learning, which links up perfectly with the lead theme of Hannover Messe – driving forward industrial transformation,” explains Sybille Hilker, Spokesperson of the Weidmüller Group.

Joint opening speech with Microsoft on use in the IIoT environment
Besides a stand where visitors were given a live demonstration of the solution, Tobias Gaukstern, Head of the Business Unit Industrial Analytics at Weidmüller, presented the vision of democratizing machine learning as part of the joint keynote with Microsoft. Christoph Berlin, Partner Program Manager, Azure Industrial IoT at Microsoft Corporation, explained how businesses can overcome data silos and innovate at scale through cross-industry collaboration and data sharing leveraging industry standards, open source reference architectures, common data models.

"Data has traditionally been managed in proprietary systems creating data silos and slowing productivity" explained Christoph Berlin. "Businesses can gain greater insights when they merge and contextualize these data sets. Shared open data formats help stakeholders across the entire supply chain access these insights easily and optimize their production accordingly.”

Gaukstern then went on to explain how the Automated Machine Learning Tool from Weidmüller, running on Microsoft Azure, supports this vision and how machine learning is therefore being prepared for widespread roll-out in industry. “Data-based services are a differentiating factor today, and in the future will be the prerequisite for both economic and ecological success. We should therefore boldly bring ML and AI solutions to industrial applications. To do this, the application of machine learning must be simplified to such an extent that domain experts can independently implement ML or AI solutions with their knowledge of the machine or production process," Gaukstern explains. "In this respect, Weidmüller and Microsoft complement each other perfectly, since the collaboration in an ecosystem increases the speed of transformation, innovation and scale for all participating partners". With the Automated Machine Learning Tool, which has its origin in the top-level research cluster ‘OWL Intelligent Technical Systems’, domain experts are able to independently generate an initial ML model for their use case in less than an hour, something which a data scientist would previously have needed several weeks or months to do as part of a project.

Pioneering Industrial Connectivity – Easy. Flexible. Efficient.
The main focus of this year's Hannover Messe is again on products and solutions for automation and digitalisation. Strategically, Weidmüller's aim is to establish itself as a recognised leader in the area of IIoT, and in April – under the motto “Pioneering Industrial Connectivity – Easy. Flexible. Efficient.” – it will present its innovations in electromobility, IIoT, PUSH IN connection systems, machine learning and workplace solutions. “Over the last few decades, Weidmüller has helped to shape an entire sector through its groundbreaking innovations,” Hilker points out. “As a pioneer of Industrial Connectivity, we take on the current and future challenges of the industry. And where better to show this than at Hannover Messe – the Home of Industrial Pioneers.”

New stand in Hall 12
The Preview kicked off the important preparation phase for Hannover Messe 2020, where Weidmüller is one of the first companies to implement the trade fair's new concept. “We've been closely associated with Hannover Messe for many years and are pleased to be able to support the new concept through our new location at this year's event,” explains Hilker. “Our new presence in Hall 12 will be a very pleasant surprise for the visitors, in terms of direction, design and appearance.”