Partner Q&A

Partner Feature: Smart Factory Institute

Smart Factory Institute

Why is advanced mobility important to Smart Factory?

The shift towards electric vehicles signifies a major overhaul for the automotive industry, requiring careful navigation by manufacturers. This transition will necessitate a significant move from the production of conventional internal combustion engine vehicles to electric ones, implicating alterations in production lines, methods, and material utilization and investment in machinery and technologies is essential for manufacturers. This evolution aligns with the objectives of the Smart Factory, as we are committed to assisting manufacturers by introducing new technologies to augment their processes and efficiencies.

Why did Smart Factory sign on to TEAM TN?

The Smart Factory Institute signed onto the Team TN initiative because it aligns with our mission of driving industrial innovation and advancing the digitization of manufacturing. Participating in this initiative allows us to collaborate with a broad range of stakeholders from industry, academia, and government to promote advanced manufacturing practices in Tennessee. The Team TN initiative focuses on economic development, job creation, and improving the competitiveness of the state’s industries. These goals resonate with our commitment to fostering a robust manufacturing ecosystem that is equipped to meet the demands of Industry 4.0.

By being part of Team TN, we can contribute our expertise in areas like automation, data analytics, and smart technologies to help local manufacturers enhance their productivity, efficiency, and adaptability. At the same time, we can learn from the experiences and perspectives of other participants, enabling us to continually refine our strategies and solutions.

What does Smart Factory hope to gain through the initiative?

The Smart Factory Institute hopes to gain several outcomes through the Team Tennessee initiative:

1. By working closely with stakeholders from various sectors, we hope to foster a collaborative environment where ideas and strategies for advancing Tennessee’s manufacturing sector can be shared and implemented.

2. Participating in this initiative gives us access to valuable information and insights into the challenges and opportunities within the state’s manufacturing industry. This can help us tailor our research and development efforts to better meet the needs of local manufacturers.

3. As a participant in the initiative, we have the opportunity to shape policies and strategies that promote advanced manufacturing practices. This can help ensure that the state’s industrial landscape evolves in a way that aligns with our mission and vision.

4. The TEAM TN initiative provides us with a platform to showcase our capabilities and achievements, helping to raise our profile among key industry players and potential partners.

Ultimately, we want to make a tangible impact on Tennessee’s economy by helping to drive job creation, economic growth, and industrial innovation through advanced manufacturing.

What makes Tennessee the right state for this kind of initiative?

Tennessee is already home to several major automotive manufacturers, including Nissan, General Motors, Volkswagen, and soon-to-be Ford Blue Oval. This existing infrastructure and expertise make it a natural fit for EV development. The state’s workforce is skilled in automotive manufacturing, whether it is one of the major OEMs or part of the >900 manufacturing firms in the automotive supply chain. They can easily transition to producing electric vehicles and associated components with the right training and education initiatives.

Tennessee’s strong Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturing Association (TMA) and Automotive Manufacturer’s Association (TAMA), along with a pro-business state government, has shown support for the automotive industry and for initiatives that promote clean energy and reduce carbon emissions. This supportive policy environment is conducive to the development and growth of the EV industry.  In addition, the state’s central location in the U.S. makes it an excellent logistics hub, which is vital for the distribution of electric vehicles and their components.

Tennessee is home to several prestigious research institutions, like Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee system and, of course, the Smart Factory Institute, which can contribute to advancements in EV technology.

Anything else you would like to add?

The Smart Factory Institute aims to be a leading center for driving industrial innovation and promoting the digitization of manufacturing. Our mission is to help manufacturers improve their productivity, efficiency, and adaptability using smart technologies and data-driven strategies. 

Our research focuses on the transformation of manufacturing and how technology is affecting the worker of the future. We offer training programs and educational resources to help manufacturers and their workforce understand and adopt advanced manufacturing technologies. This includes workshops, seminars, and online courses covering various aspects of smart manufacturing. We offer a range of services to manufacturers, such as consultancy, technology assessment, process optimization, and custom solution development. These services are designed to help manufacturers transition smoothly to smart manufacturing practices.

We collaborate extensively with industry, academia, and government to promote advanced manufacturing practices. We also form strategic partnerships with technology providers and other stakeholders to develop and implement innovative solutions. Our work contributes to job creation, economic growth, and industrial innovation. We also aim to foster a sustainable manufacturing sector that can meet the challenges of Industry 4.0 and beyond.

Our state-of-the-art facilities include advanced manufacturing labs, digital simulation centers, and training facilities and are located inside the PIE (Partnerships in Industry and Education) Innovation Center in Cleveland, Tennessee.  We love to host visitors and provide tours.  If you or your organization is interested in a tour, please contact us at