Deloitte 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 it 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volatile supply chain, labor shortages and a fluctuating global economy, many manufacturers find themselves relying on outdated legacy systems to power their operations.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 cybersecurity, build resilience, and create new levels of growth and competitive advantage.
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.
Housed in a net-zero building, the 60,000ft2 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.