Partnerships and collaborations of all types are becoming increasingly common among technology suppliers as companies embarking on digital transformation initiatives seek to transcend their domain-specific expertise, grapple with unprecedented quantities of data, and ultimately bridge the divide between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT).
Recently, IT equipment and service provider Fujitsu expanded its relationship with software company PTC to become a systems integrator for PTC’s ThingWorx Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which aids end-users in sourcing, contextualizing, and synthesizing data from IoT-connected assets to more easily produce insights on how to optimize processes. Fujitsu is also working with PTC’s Vuforia augmented reality (AR) offering that facilitates remote collaboration between frontline OT workers and distant subject matter experts via video and audio feeds.
“Our alliance with PTC will be pivotal in helping manufacturers thrive in an increasingly challenging business environment. Our enhanced Smart Factory framework, bolstered by the ThingWorx and Vuforia platforms, will enable our customers to create real-time operational insight and intelligence across manufacturing domains, helping to improve tactical and strategic operations,” said Paul Bresnahan, head of manufacturing at Fujitsu America Inc. “Together, Fujitsu and PTC are enabling our customers to bring in new business that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”
AR in particular has seen an uptick since the onset of COVID-19, with many using the technology to guide less-experienced workers through complex technical procedures without needing to physically enter a facility. Moreover, cloud-based IoT platforms are also seeing growing adoption as many companies look to invest in low-cost, scalable options than can ease the strain of building their own IoT framework from the ground up.
Through the new partnership, Fujitsu and PTC hope to support shop floor efficiencies, enable customers to reduce costs, increase productivity, and redeploy previously idled assets. In addition, when paired with the Vuforia AR platform, ThingWorx can allow front-line workers to obtain the information they need to do their jobs more safely, efficiently, and accurately, the companies say.
"We are pleased to enter into this new phase of our relationship with Fujitsu. Fujitsu and PTC share a common vision to help manufacturers accelerate innovation in the factory to deliver meaningful business impact with speed and at scale," said Catherine Kniker, divisional vice president and global head of corporate development at PTC. "We both understand the challenges that come with migrating to a digital factory, and believe our robust experience positions us well to help our customers quickly achieve value with their digital transformation initiatives."