Infor Becomes Founding Sponsor of The Smart Factory @ Wichita
Collaboration with Deloitte & Wichita State University will advance adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and boost quality, productivity & sustainability
Infor, a Koch Industries company, announced that it has become the first founding sponsor of The Smart Factory @ Wichita, a new Industry 4.0 immersive experience center launched by Deloitte and Wichita State University in Kansas.
The facility on Wichita State’s Innovation Campus includes a fully operational production line and experiential labs for developing and exploring smart factory innovative capabilities. As a founding sponsor, Infor and its parent company, Koch Industries, will provide Industry 4.0 expertise, solutions and cutting-edge technology to the new facility, which is anticipated to open in 2021.
The collaboration between Infor, Deloitte and Wichita State is designed to advance the execution of the once-futuristic concept of smart factories and enable manufacturers to quickly adopt state-of-the-art, Industry 4.0 technologies to drive new business models and boost quality, productivity and sustainability. Infor, Deloitte, Wichita State and the powerful Smart Factory partner ecosystem is expected to help customers across numerous industries continuously innovate and develop next-generation, value-added services.
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A smart factory is a highly digitized, connected production facility that uses technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics to help companies manufacture products, create new business value, unlock data-driven insights and automate or eliminate business processes. These technologies enable people to do their jobs in a more productive and efficient manner while improving quality and overall safety. At the same time, the technologies enable smart factories to self-adapt and autonomously optimize manufacturing operations. The Smart Factory @ Wichita will make digital transformations real by demonstrating how to merge existing technologies with new innovations, sparking a dialogue about how companies can accelerate their journeys toward scalable and sustainable capabilities.
Infor will have a 4,000-square-foot workspace in The Smart Factory @ Wichita, where it will host customers, prospects and industry leaders and demonstrate Industry 4.0 technologies for factory operations, warehousing, asset management, workforce operations, and more. In addition, the company plans to establish an Infor Smart Factory expert team, which will help manufacturers assess Industry 4.0 technologies and discuss best practices for deployment — developed from working with more than 50,000 customers in the manufacturing industry.
Within The Smart Factory @ Wichita, Infor will create and demonstrate a practical, ready-to-deploy technology package that addresses eight key smart factory use cases:
- Factory asset intelligence and performance management
- Quality sensing and detection
- Factory synchronization and dynamic scheduling
- Augmented workforce efficiency
- Plant consumption and energy management
- Smart warehousing
- Smart conveyance
- Engineering collaboration and digital twins (digital representations of physical environments)
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According to Ed Allen, Infor executive vice president & GM of manufacturing industries, The Smart Factory @ Wichita will help pave the way for more manufacturers to adopt a multitude of Industry 4.0 capabilities, such as asset health prognostics, production tracking, quality monitoring, dynamic staffing, energy consumption tracking, and predictive inventory management, etc.
“We have jumped into this opportunity headfirst and have committed our best minds and technology to help accelerate the adoption of smart factories in manufacturing industries,” Allen said. “The Smart Factory @ Wichita will be a showcase for the value that manufacturers can realize from using Industry 4.0 technologies to transform their entire business ecosystem.”
Infor is focused on creating a comprehensive, integrated and scalable, step-by-step approach to helping its industry customers realize the concept and benefits of a smart factory. This has helped some of its customers achieve measurable business outcomes, including, for example, cost reductions of 30 percent, asset efficiency improvements of 20 percent, safety improvements of 10 percent, quality improvements of 35 percent, agility enhancements of 20 percent, and sustainability improvements of 10 percent, according to performance metrics reported by those companies.
“Infor is an industry leader in ERP transformation that brings a strategic vision for how manufacturers can leverage the power of smart factories and integrate cutting-edge, Industry 4.0 technologies,” said Stephen Laaper, principal and Smart Factory leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Having Infor on board as the first founding sponsor will enhance the immersive experience of The Smart Factory @ Wichita, enabling turnkey solutions for organizations that can transform their business and accelerate their path to effectiveness.”
John Tomblin, Wichita State University senior vice president of industry and defense programs and executive director of the National Institute for Aviation Research, said, “Infor’s expertise, advanced tools and success in deploying smart-factory solutions for manufacturing customers will advance The Smart Factory @ Wichita. The combination of Infor’s technology and Wichita State’s educational, research and innovation resources will contribute to making this a world-class facility and a key destination for organizations looking to advance the state-of-the-art in manufacturing.”