The Smart Factory Institute of Tennessee yesterday announced a new partnership with the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce and Bradley County Schools that calls for the organization to move its headquarters from Chattanooga to the Partnerships in Industry & Education (PIE) Innovation Center in Cleveland.
Formerly the site of American Uniform Co. mill and factory, the 256,100-square-foot complex – now the site of the PIE Innovation Center – was recently revamped into a $33 million vocational training and business facility after gaining support from a coalition of greater Chattanooga area businesses, along with federal, state and local governments.
The Smart Factory Institute will occupy a 9,000 square-foot space within the PIE Center and will continue to provide training and workforce development programs to support manufacturing and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies while partnering with businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and other professional organizations. The space will be available to showcase and demonstrate new technologies which will support economic development, draw industry to the region, and expand existing industry by promoting advanced manufacturing.
“Throughout the past year, our incredible community, sponsors, and technology partners have shown extraordinary enthusiasm for our Industry 4.0 workforce and advanced manufacturing programs – at a level we could not have imagined when we first launched the nation’s first Deutsche Messe Technology Academy right here in Chattanooga,” said Denise Rice, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peak Performance Inc. which operates the Smart Factory Institute. “As a result, we’re thrilled to be expanding our operations in the greater Chattanooga area and moving into a larger space that allows us to grow and increase our offerings while continuing to work closely with our friends at Volkswagen.”
The PIE Center is centrally located to serve students and community members from Bradley, Meigs, and Polk counties. It offers space to house 38 tenants, including the local University of Tennessee Extension Service, a counseling center, McKee Foods, Wright Brothers Construction, Center for Sports Medicine, and Cleveland State Community College.
The Smart Factory Institute will host the PIE Center’s inaugural event on August 11. Titled the “Smart Solutions for Smart Factories Expo,” the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. event will feature leading manufacturing and technology vendors demonstrating smart solutions that improve productivity, quality, reliability, and responsiveness in a factory production environment. The Expo will also host the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association (CRMA) “Manufacturers Excellence Luncheon.”
Here’s the full news release from yesterday (SFI PIE Center Press Release).