Cloud Smart construction

Komatsu looks to smart construction solutions harnessing Microsoft Azure to boost productivity

Komatsu, the Japanese company that manufactures a variety of military, forestry, mining, and industrial equipment, has turned to Microsoft’s Azure cloud for data management and insights in order to better productivity.

In 2009, the Tokyo-based corporation began collecting productivity data using on-premises servers and in 2014 “KOM-MICS” was launched, an Internet of Things (IoT) system that gathers information from sensors affixed to a multitude of machine equipment and welding robots.

With KOM-MICS collecting mass amounts of data, Komatsu had to reassess the on-site storage turning to Microsoft Azure cloud.

Nobuyoshi Yamanaka, General Manager for Komatsu’s Manufacturing Engineering Development Center Production Division explains the decision, saying “Keeping pace with these fluctuations is our primary issue. The best way to do that is by raising our productivity. And, to do that … we need data. Microsoft asked us what we wanted to do and how we wanted to expand the solution in the future, then it gave us exactly the right support.”

Yamanaka’s team is now looking into Intelligent Edge solutions and AI to additionally increase dividends. He believes the future of companies, such as Komatsu, lies with these technologies. Freeing up time for skilled workers and the ability to predict issues and maintenance requirements.

Yamanaka goes on to say, “I believe that data can be used in a variety of ways. We would like to automatically realize optimal machining conditions and have AI do some tasks that are currently handled by skilled workers.  We would like features that can automatically detect signs of failures before they happen. We need to make use of AI.”