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Deloitte Opens New US Smart Factory in Wichita, Kansas, Convenes Ecosystem of Innovators to Make Industry 4.0 a Reality


Located on the Innovation Campus of Wichita State University, The Smart Factory @ Wichita aims to advance the future of manufacturing, spur innovation through digital transformation

WICHITA, Kan., June 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ --

Key takeaways

  • The Smart Factory @ Wichita assembles a first-of-its-kind ecosystem of more than 20 world-renowned solution providers, technology innovators and futurists to help solve the toughest challenges in manufacturing.
  • Features a fully functioning manufacturing production line that combines cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, cloud and edge applications, robotics, vision solutions and more.
  • Supports STEM education: Plans to manufacture and donate Smart Rover STEM education kits that aim to impact 800,000 students over four years, with initial donations in Wichita, Metro Detroit and Philadelphia in 2022.
  • Completely sustainable, The Smart Factory is powered by renewable resources and is net-zero impact.
  • Facility is anticipated to draw more than 5,000 visitors to the local area over the next 12 months, including leaders from world-renowned companies.

Deloitte today announced the grand opening of The Smart Factory @ Wichita. This new experience center marries an ecosystem of world-leading, innovative collaborators, including founders: AWS, Dragos, Infor, SAP, Siemens, and Wichita State University, and builders: Check Point, HPE, Tenable, ServiceNow, UiPath, Verizon, and more with strategy and cutting-edge technology to showcase the power of smart factory technologies.

Why this matters
As organizations continue to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing demand for products amid a volatile supply chain, labor shortages and a fluctuating global economy, many manufacturers find themselves relying on outdated legacy systems to power their operations. Organizations that engineer an end-to-end smart manufacturing operation can increase efficiency, sustainability and cyber security, build resilience and create new levels of growth and competitive advantage.

Key quotes
"Manufacturers must evolve in response to unprecedented levels of supply chain and workforce disruption by reassessing the capacity and agility of their manufacturing operations. The Smart Factory @ Wichita showcases how Deloitte and our strong ecosystem of collaborators is bringing this innovation to life and helping deliver a combination of strategy and end-to-end technology to help organizations better navigate the challenges of today and tomorrow with a tech-forward approach."

- Dan Helfrich, chair and CEO, Deloitte Consulting LLP

"The Smart Factory @ Wichita showcases the power and potential of bringing together some of the world's greatest minds and solutions in a comprehensive ecosystem to demonstrate practical manufacturing applications. Through the strength of this collaborative approach, we are helping organizations accelerate innovation and make Industry 4.0 a reality."

- Stephen Laaper, principal and Smart Factory leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP

"As a manufacturing and technology hub, we continue to draw top talent and businesses to Wichita, and Wichita State University's collaboration with Deloitte deepens opportunities for our students and community with access to the world's top innovators and futurists coming through The Smart Factory @ Wichita as they explore how to transform their own business operations."

- Dr. Rick Muma, president, Wichita State University

Experience Industry 4.0 in action
The Smart Factory @ Wichita showcases advanced manufacturing techniques in a variety of applications on a shop floor to help organizations navigate their biggest challenges. Visitors to the new, immersive facility will experience smart factory concepts that bring together the Internet of Things, cloud, artificial intelligence, computer vision and more to create interconnected systems that use data to drive intelligent actions. They will also be involved in real-world demonstrations, hands-on workshops and see practical applications brought to life that are designed to help their organizations build a road map to accelerate growth.

The Smart Factory @ Wichita also serves as a catalyst for operational transformations and improved business results. For example, Deloitte has created a technology platform, Smart Factory Accelerator, with a suite of managed services that enable manufacturers navigating the complex digital transformation landscape to optimally achieve their operational performance objectives. The new, cloud-based, turnkey set of solutions with advanced analytics, coupled with Deloitte's network of ecosystem relationships, solves for today's most important operational challenges, such as visibility into end-to-end operations at scale, provides proactive, predictive operational insights, and helps achieve step-change performance objectives.

Sustainably smart
Housed in a net-zero building, the 60,000-square-foot Smart Factory @ Wichita is powered by a renewable energy smart grid and is outfitted with wind trees, solar assets and smart lighting. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) kits produced at the factory use 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) collected from the local recycling stream as the primary raw material, bringing the circular economy to life.

STEM education: The Smart Factory @ Wichita enables the next generation of innovators
In line with its commitment to philanthropy and STEM education, The Smart Factory @ Wichita joined forces with Elenco Electronics and AWS to help produce and distribute a new STEM education product: the Smart Rover kit – a STEM-forward 21st century learning experience. Produced on the factory's state-of-the-art production line, the Smart Rover kit incorporates one of Elenco's award-winning Snap Circuits kits, the Snap Rover, with a Raspberry Pi microcomputer and camera module to educate middle school students on product design, coding and engineering. The program's mission is to inspire the next generation of diverse innovators to fill the growing talent gap in critical STEM-focused areas. With initial donations impacting 1,000 middle school students in Metro Detroit, Philadelphia and Wichita in 2022, Deloitte aims to reach 800,000 students in the U.S. over four years to foster long-term systemic impact in STEM education.

Wichita: A center of precision manufacturing and technology
In support of a community that is known for its deep roots in manufacturing, The Smart Factory @ Wichita is working with Wichita State University, which hosts the factory on its Innovation Campus, to bring together Deloitte's technology experience with the university's research, educational and innovation capabilities. Wichita State University is also using the factory in its curriculum as an applied learning experience to enrich its students' experiences and help inspire the next generation of STEM manufacturing talent.

The factory is anticipated to draw over 5,000 visitors, including leaders of globally renowned companies, to the local area over the next year, with growth anticipated in the future. The Smart Factory @ Wichita also engages many parts of the community including local vendors, suppliers and businesses.

To learn more, visit www.thesmartfactory.io.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's more than 345,000 people worldwide connect for impact at www.deloitte.com.

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SOURCE Deloitte Consulting LLP