P&G to collaborate with Microsoft to improve digital manufacturing

P&G to collaborate with Microsoft to improve digital manufacturing

The consumer goods company will enhance its AI, machine learning and edge computing capabilities

Elly Yates-Roberts |

The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has formed a new multi-year collaboration with Microsoft to leverage the artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and edge computing capabilities within the Microsoft Cloud to improve manufacturing operations.

The companies will work together to expand P&G’s digital manufacturing platform by using the industrial internet of things (IIoT) to improve the product-to-consumer experience by increasing productivity and reducing costs.

P&G will be able to digitise and integrate data from more than 100 manufacturing sites around the world and develop its AI, machine learning and edge computing services to track real-time data. Access to this information will allow the company to make decisions with an exponential impact.

The new collaboration will also allow P&G to utilise AI capabilities and digital twin technology better, optimise manufacturing environmental sustainability efforts, and increase workforce efficiency and productivity.

“Together with Microsoft, P&G intends to make manufacturing smarter by enabling scalable predictive quality, predictive maintenance, controlled release, touchless operations and manufacturing sustainability optimisation – which has not been done at this scale in the manufacturing space to date,” said Vittorio Cretella, P&G’s chief information officer. “At P&G, data and technology are at the heart of our business strategy and are helping create superior consumer experiences. This first-of-its-kind co-innovation agreement will digitise and integrate data to increase quality, efficiency and sustainable use of resources to help deliver those superior experiences.”

P&G’s new partnership with Microsoft builds on its existing four-year relationship with the technology leader, which has previously assisted with data and AI queries.

“We are excited to help P&G accelerate its digital manufacturing platform using Microsoft Azure, AI and IIoT to accommodate volatility in the consumer products industry with innovative, agile solutions that can easily scale based on market conditions,” said Judson Althoff, chief commercial officer at Microsoft. “Our partnership will further P&G’s growth and business transformation through digital technology that seamlessly connects people, assets, workflow and business processes that promote resiliency.”

As a result of this new partnership, P&G is already improving the production of its baby care and paper products with pilot projects in Egypt, India, Japan and the USA. The advancements aim to reduce manufacturing downtime, minimise waste and lower maintenance costs by automatically detecting and resolving the causes of line stops and rework with machine learning.

The company will also focus on increasing sustainability, predicting equipment failure and using a digital enablement office to support further pilot programmes.

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