MUNICH—Siemens and Microsoft are harnessing the collaborative power of generative artificial intelligence (AI) to help manufacturers drive innovation and efficiency across the design, engineering, manufacturing and operational life cycle of products. 

To enhance cross-functional collaboration, Siemens is integrating ots Teamcenter software for product lifecycle management (PLM) with Microsoft’s collaboration platform Teams and the language models in Azure OpenAI Service. Generative AI can enhance factory automation and operations through AI-powered software development, problem reporting and visual quality inspection.

“The integration of AI into technology platforms will profoundly change how we work and how every business operates,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for Cloud + AI at Microsoft. “With Siemens, we are bringing the power of AI to more industrial organizations, enabling them to simplify workflows, overcome silos and collaborate in more inclusive ways to accelerate customer-centric innovation.”

With the new Teamcenter app for Microsoft Teams, anticipated later in 2023, Microsoft and Siemens are enabling design engineers, frontline workers and teams across business functions to close feedback loops faster and solve challenges together. For example, service engineers or production operatives can use mobile devices to document and report product design or quality concerns using natural speech. Through Azure OpenAI Service, the app can parse that informal speech data, automatically creating a summarized report and routing it within Teamcenter to the appropriate design, engineering or manufacturing expert. 

To foster inclusion, workers can record their observations in their preferred languages, which is then translated into the official company language with Microsoft Azure AI. Microsoft Teams provides user-friendly features like push notifications to simplify workflow approvals, reduce the time it takes to request design changes, and speed up innovation cycles. The Teamcenter app for Microsoft Teams can enable millions of workers who do not have access to PLM tools today to impact the design and manufacturing process more easily as part of their existing workflows. 

Siemens and Microsoft are also collaborating to help software developers and automation engineers accelerate the code generation for PLCs. The companies are demonstrating a concept for how OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other Azure AI services can augment Siemens’ industrial automation engineering technology.