AWS for Industries

AWS delivers on the promise of Industry 4.0 at The Smart Factory @ Wichita

Deloitte’s Smart Factory Accelerator built on AWS contextualizes the factory of the future through immersive, sustainable experiential lab at Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus

Making “factory of the future” a reality

For years, the promise of the “factory of the future” was a distant dream; automated design, production, and delivery logistics all managed via a single, interconnected interface.  Today, those manufacturing dreams are turning into reality with the dawn of the cloud, the interconnectivity between machinery, plants, and management teams, and through collaboration with the leading end-to-end digital transformation providers, Deloitte Consulting LLP.  This blog will outline the AWS technological contributions to the factory of the future and, more specifically, at The Smart Factory @ Wichita.  The use cases at the location, enabled by AWS infrastructure, native services, and toolkits, serve as a framework for solving the manufacturing industry’s toughest challenges and provide a roadmap for manufacturing efficiency.

AWS Collaborates with Deloitte

Today, AWS announced it is a founding sponsor and cloud provider at The Smart Factory @ Wichita, a new Industry 4.0 immersive experience center convened by Deloitte Consulting and opened in Q1 2022.  The Smart Factory is the culmination of visionary work in the manufacturing space by Deloitte, AWS, and its other ecosystem sponsors, and brings to life the concept of the “factory of the future.” AWS, as a leader in cloud technology, serves an integral role providing the architecture and infrastructure necessary to achieve the promise of Industry 4.0 operations. AWS’s technology and seamless integration enables The Smart Factory @ Wichita’s machinery to communicate from machine-to-machine and to platforms, allowing for an integrated “factory floor” that’s agile and informed.

Focus on Manufacturing “Greatness”

The Smart Factory @ Wichita will help organizations solve business problems through a multitude of smart factory use cases around efficiency, effectiveness, quality, sustainability, agility, reducing costs and more.

AWS serves an integral role in making The Smart Factory @ Wichita possible, integrating devices, machine learning solutions and analytical systems to generate insights, predict maintenance, schedule workers, track assets, and keep audit and quality registries.

Smart Factory Reference Architecture

Inside the factory, AWS edge services communicate with the Industrial equipment (Sensors, PLCs, SCADA), collecting and analyzing data, sending commands, and running local applications. The AWS edge services use the Connectivity/Management services to communicate with the AWS Cloud using encrypted channels.

With the data in the cloud, customers can use multiple AWS services to enrich and analyze the data. For instance, users can apply data science tools such as Amazon SageMaker to provide insights from machinery across the shop floor, optimizing operations and scaling as needed and allowing a unified Enterprise view of all locations and assets. Customers can also use Amazon Lookout for Equipment to detect abnormal equipment behavior, helping to predict maintenance needs.

The Production Manager can visualize OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and other reports on the Amazon QuickSight reporting tool.  Those reports can help expose areas to improve factory performance and reduce costs.

The collected and enriched data can then be sent to important production systems such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or MES (Manufacturing Execution System) to improve operational effectiveness and lower cost.

A Unique, Functional Space

The Smart Factory @ Wichita is a 60,000-square-foot sustainable space located on Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus. The Smart Factory includes a fully operational production line and experiential labs for developing and highlighting smart factory innovative capabilities.  In addition to robust sustainability initiatives, its mission includes meaningful job creation and STEM education for middle school students through an Elenco Snap Circuits® kit donation. This year, kits will be distributed to middle schools in communities, including Wichita, Metro Detroit and Philadelphia, with the goal of impacting 800,000 students in the U.S over four years.

As a founding sponsor, AWS works with Deloitte to advance the execution of smart factories and enable manufacturers to quickly adopt state-of-the-art, Industry 4.0 technologies such as Deloitte’s Smart Factory Acceleratorto drive new business models, boost quality, productivity, and sustainability. As part of the sponsorship, AWS leverages the powerful ecosystem of The Smart Factory @ Wichita to help customers innovate their supply chain and leverage next-generation technologies such as Industrial IOT and advanced automation.

“Building off of Deloitte’s Smart Factory Accelerator platform enabled by AWS, The Smart Factory @ Wichita represents an opportunity for our customers, partners, and prospects to experience first-hand what the cloud can bring to the manufacturing space,” said Douglas Bellin, Global Head of Smart Factory, AWS.  “With technologies like AWS IoT Greengrass, AWS IoT Analytics and AWS IoT Events, companies see the vision of a fully integrated digital smart factory come to life.”

The Smart Factory @ Wichita is a highly digitized, connected production facility that uses technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and robotics to help companies manufacture products, create new business value, unlock data-driven insights, and automate or eliminate business processes. These technologies enable manufacturing plants to be more productive and efficient while improving quality and overall safety. The Smart Factory @ Wichita brings digital transformations to life 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.

As part of the process to ready the industry for the manufacturing innovation of the future, AWS, through The Smart Factory @ Wichita, educates manufacturing leaders on the tools that power the factory.  During their experience, industrial companies can engage with an AWS innovation team to design their own Smart Factory journey, leveraging AWS digital innovation mechanisms and methodology.

“With AWS onboard as the cloud provider at The Smart Factory @ Wichita, visitors of the factory will experience the power of cloud enriched data and the benefits it can bring to Industry 4.0 transformations,” said Stephen Laaper, principal and smart factory leader, Deloitte Consulting. “Together Deloitte and AWS are helping clients see the full potential of a digitized smart factory and improve operational performance to bring the next generation of technology to the forefront of the manufacturing industry for enterprise organizations.”

Putting it into Practice

Together with Deloitte, AWS is helping make the “factory of the future” a reality, through technology like machine learning, and advanced analytics.  While the manufacturing industry may face challenges adapting to the ever-changing 21st century, the cloud can speed business transformation and free up today’s manufacturers to develop and produce goods efficiently address consumers’ needs.

The two companies are leveraging The Smart Factory @ Wichita as an opportunity to engage local communities via deliveries of Smart Rover STEM education kits produced on-site.  The kits offer students an introduction to programming, where they learn to code, debug and test their creations.  The kits also promote soft skills such as collaboration, documentation, presentation skills, problem solving and troubleshooting. To date, deliveries have been made to schools in the local Wichita area and elsewhere across the country, including Philadelphia and Metro Detroit.


“We are excited and proud to be part of the pilot program and to be the first to get the Smart Rover kits!  The Smart Rover and our relationship with The Smart Factory @ Wichita bring in a really unique experience that will pull more kids into our school and classrooms and get them the necessary STEM exposure.”   Walter Givens, Principal of Brooks Center for STEM and Arts Magnet Middle School, Wichita, KS


Industry leaders can learn more about AWS innovation in the industrial and manufacturing sector, including Industry 4.0, Smart Factory Accelerator and The Smart Factory @ Wichita by visiting

Douglas Bellin

Douglas Bellin

Douglas is the Global Lead of Business Development for Smart Factories and Industrie 4.0 at Amazon Web. He leads the strategy and execution of manufacturing and supply chain solution areas across Industrial customers at the intersection between Operational Technologies and Information Technologies. Prior to AWS, he ran the Marketing, Go-to-Market and Business Development teams for the Industrial Markets within Cisco Systems. He has a background in both the RFID and Analytics markets and was instrumental in running a Business Intelligence software company by bringing it to the Asia market. Douglas started his career in the steel and food manufacturing industry. After 12 years in Asia Pacific he is now based in Seattle, WA

Leo Simberg

Leo Simberg

Leo Simberg is the Global IoT and Smart Factory Technical Lead at AWS, where he helps companies use the power of the cloud to accelerate their journey toward Industry 4.0. He has more than 22 years of architecture and leadership experience, helping both C-Level and Technical teams in their digital transformation.