Bilfinger integrates new digitalization solutions with Microsoft Azure

June 12, 2018

  • Bilfinger and Microsoft advancing digital transformation in the process industry
  • BCAP platform for the digitalization of industrial plants uses Microsoft Azure
  • Industrial Tube AI solution supports knowledge management via app

Industrial services provider Bilfinger is delivering two new digital solutions: the Bilfinger Connected Asset Performance – BCAP platform that enables companies to execute an affordable digitalization of their plants, along with Industrial Tube, an AI-based solution that records the expertise of technical employees and allows this knowledge to be shared and expanded. Bilfinger is cooperating with Microsoft on the technological implementation of the new solutions and further development of digital services for industrial companies and is relying on the globally scalable and secure infrastructure and platform services from Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. 

BCAP records all important data from a plant in a central platform: Information from engineering, production and maintenance flow into the platform in a coordinated form, making it possible to carry out a targeted evaluation. This means that, among other advantages, it is easier to anticipate malfunctions. The broad foundation of digital data provides the basis for improved operational and strategic decisions in the company and leads to a reduction in maintenance costs of up to 30 percent. In terms of data management within the scope of BCAP, both the infrastructure and the platform services of Microsoft are used. Azure allows for the consistent implementation of hybrid cloud environments – from application development through to administration and security and including identity management – important features that benefit Bilfinger’s customers.

Mobile apps to multiply know-how
The focus of Industrial Tubes is on making documentation and sharing of the knowledge of employees in the technical areas as simple as possible. Moving images are initially used as a format. For the future, it is feasible that other technologies could also be integrated, including Augmented Reality or specialized Bots. An app for smartphones and data glasses such as those provided by Microsoft HoloLens are used for the recording. So-called templates are integrated in these that give the user a script for what he should do step-by-step. In accordance with a standardized approval process, the finished video is automatically made available to the portal and the app in an edited form. Here, AI methods are used in order to, for example, transform the language to text. Metadata such as subtitles or keywords are generated in text form, ensuring that the video can be easily found and shared.

The process chain made up of recording, automatic processing and provision will also be made available to customers as a software-as-service. Microsoft contributed valuable support in the selection of partners: With their help, it was possible to attract professional companies for the utilization of a video platform, for example, or the development of video apps.

Added value for the process industry
“With the BCAP platform and Industrial Tube Bilfinger has, over the course of the past twelve months, successfully developed new digital solutions on the basis of innovative Microsoft technologies”, explains Franz Braun, Chief Digital Officer at Bilfinger SE. “With the performance of the Microsoft Cloud and our own extensive expertise in the process industry, we will develop further solutions in the future and support our customers with leading-edge digital services.”

Sabine Bendiek, Chairwoman of the Management Board, Microsoft Germany: “With the new services, Bilfinger is offering customers in the process industry comprehensive digital solutions for the digitalization of production processes and making it possible to achieve substantial efficiency enhancements. Bilfinger thus enables its customers to carry out their own digital transformation and achieve sustainable cultural change – in line with our motto “Digitalization for Everyone”.