Foxconn and Johnson Controls to collaborate on smart buildings

Johnson Controls will be the preferred building management products provider for Foxconn's manufacturing plants in Wisconsin, the companies said. (Foxconn)

Foxconn Industrial Internet and Johnson Controls are formally collaborating on ways to use AI with building data analytics to boost smart building and smart city technologies.

The two companies announced Wednesday they have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a global technology strategic partnership.

Initially, Johnson Controls will become the preferred provider of building management products for Foxconn’s planned manufacturing facilities in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin. Potentially, the relationship could extend to other Foxconn properties globally. The Wisconsin buildings will use smart technologies provided by Johnson Controls and enhanced by Foxconn’s AI and smart manufacturing technologies.

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Foxconn is building a manufacturing plant in Mt. Pleasant that it says will create 1,500 jobs and produce LCD screens for use in different industries. The 1 million square foot structure is set for completion in late 2020 or early 2021, according to reports, but some critics have questioned whether the timeline might be much longer.

Foxconn’s plans for Racine County and Mt. Pleasant have changed since the first announcement in 2017, with the latest plans calling for a smaller manufacturing facility. A separate multi-purpose facility opened in late 2018 on the campus that is 120,000 square feet in size. 

Smart buildings are sometimes described as having the ability to integrate data analytics with AI. Building data can be combined with external data about utility prices, energy storage, social media and weather to help building managers and homeowners manage building heating, cooling and lighting, as well as security.

RELATED: Building automation market to grow 8% in 2019

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