Deutsche Messe Technology Academy has opened the Smart Factory Institute in Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 1, 2021. This industrial knowledge transfer facility is supported by several partners in the U.S. and also by the Volkswagen Academy, and is designed to stimulate innovation in industrial companies in the southeastern United States.
The project, which was envisaged by the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy even before the outbreak of the global pandemic, was supported by numerous partners in the USA. The Smart Factory Institute Chattanooga brings together the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, the human resources development company Peak Performance Inc and the Volkswagen Academy. The project has the backing of the Tennessee state legislature and Governor Bill Lee: Tennessee gave the green light for the project and is providing “seed money” of $400,000 for the institute.
Other Local Volkswagen Academy partners, such as the Engineering and Information Technologies Division at Chattanooga State Community College, are also contributing to the new institute. Its goal is industrial knowledge transfer in this region of the southeastern United States.
Denise Rice, president and CEO of Peak Performance Inc and director of the institute, said,
“The technologies presented in the facility cover all aspects of Industry 4.0. The Smart Factory Institute aims to focus on seven main categories: Systems Integration, Cloud Computing, Collaborative Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Big Data & Analytics, and Cyber Physical Systems. We will also offer workshops and training on new ways of working such as SMART TPM and Agile Working.”
Both face-to-face and online events are planned in Chattanooga.
For Thomas Rilke, Division Manager of the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy, the upcoming opening of an Industry Academy in the U.S. is a long-held plan and an important step:
“Our drive for internationalization is to support our internationally active technology partners in the global transfer of knowledge. A presence in the U.S., one of the world’s leading industrialized countries, is therefore a necessity for us.”
Rilke is convinced that the Smart Factory Institute can contribute to the further development of industry in the southeastern United States. As at the Academy’s other sites around the world, however, he also expects it to provide impetus for further industrial relocations.
“Sustainable and successful investment is increasingly tied to the ability of sites to keep pace with the ever-renewing skill requirements in manufacturing. We want to contribute to this everywhere.”