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Build Smart, Lead Strong | ISAIC and Detect-It Connected for Industry 4.0 Technology Showcase

Updated: Jan 17

By Michigan Business Network

In this fifth episode of the relaunched 'Build Smart, Lead Strong', Elizabeth continues to connect with a dynamic batch of guests. For this portion of the program she and guest moderator Scott Phillips, Expert in Residence and Program Manager of the Industry 4.0 Accelerator. Their guests: Kevin Kerwin, President and CEO of Detect-It, and Lionel Vargas-Cruz, Director of Operations, Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC).

Hear Scott, Kevin, and Lionel join Elizabeth in this conversation to learn about their two company's collaboration in this Industry 4.0 Technology Showcase, in this four-part interview in the SoundCloud PodCast shared below!

Elizabeth Bernhard was continuing the show's two-part Industry 4.0 technology showcase. Joining Elizabeth as a guest moderator is Scott Phillips, Program Director of the Industry 4.0 Accelerator, powered by Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technical University and Lean Rocket Lab. The role of the Industry 4.0 Accelerator is to maintain ongoing conversations with manufacturers to understand their i4.0 challenges, and to then engage in a global recruitment process to bring the world’s best industry 4.0 tech companies to Michigan to support our manufacturing base. Today we will focus on one of these tech companies, and luckily for Scott and his team, they didn’t have to go far. Detect-It, headquartered in Oak Park, Michigan is a hardware/software company that specializes in AI and Neural Network Technology. We’ll learn about the problems they are solving for manufacturers and take a closer look at how they are helping a Detroit-based manufacturer. ISAIC, or the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center, a national resource for the manufacturing of soft goods, advance solutions that are transforming industry while promoting the upward trajectory of people through training. ISAIC was introduced to Detect-It through the Centrepolis Accelerator and ultimately funded through an Industry 4.0 grant with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and supported by the Manufacturing Growth Alliance.

More about their guests:

Lionel Vargas-Cruz, Director of Operations, Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC)

Lionel's an Experienced Manufacturing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Apparel Manufacturing Industry. Experience working on the civic & social organization industry. Skilled in Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Team Building, Warehouse Operations, Lean Manufacturing and Materials Management. Fully bilingual (English and Spanish). Strong supply chain and operations professional.

ISAIC, the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center, is a fundamental new approach to talent force development and economic stimulus. A Detroit-based 501c3 nonprofit, ISAIC is a national resource for those committed to positive impact through responsible production of high-quality garments and provides solutions centered around people, education, advanced manufacturing and upward mobility for workers. ISAIC’s proprietary training curriculum is being used in multiple states across the country. Its learning and contract manufacturing factory is located in mid-town Detroit, above Carhartt’s flagship store.


To redefine the future of work by putting people trained in advanced and emerging manufacturing technologies at the forefront of sustainable soft goods production with a commitment to the wellbeing of our team, partners, community and planet.

President and CEO of Detect-It. Detect-It is a hardware/software company that specializes in Ai and Neural Network technology. Kevin has drawn upon my many years of experience and people he's met in Industry 3.0 to spearhead Detect-It’s market drive into Industry 4.0 and beyond.

Prior to forming Detect-It, Kevin spent the last 35+ years at ARKK Engineering Inc, implementing 1000’s of automated/robotic systems and creating products geared toward Automation Technology and Industry 3.0. During his tenure at ARKK in 2004 he established another company, International Wheel and Tire Inc. (IWT). IWT’s charter was to grow and dominate the global market of “High Volume Automated Wheel-Tire Assembly and Balancing,” which is required at all Automotive Assembly Plants worldwide. While building IWT Kevin designed many new and innovative processes that would eventually lead to IWT becoming the dominate player in North American and establishing a competitive presence with local offices in the EU and South Asia.

Today IWT is owned by a multinational conglomerate who purchased it in 2017. Outside of his penchant as a serial entrepreneur and inventor, Kevin enjoys investigating and learning about new subjects that interest him, martial arts, time at his cottage on the lake with family, gardening and caring for his many plants animals as well as traveling the world to experience new places and see the ways that other people live.

Smart Software powering products to make life safer, easier and more productive. Software Development done in Oak Park, Michigan

He's an expert in Residence and Program Manager of the Industry 4.0 Accelerator. The I4.0 Accelerator, powered by Centrepolis Accelerator and Lean Rocket Lab, accelerates Michigan’s manufacturers adoption of industry 4.0 technologies by connecting them to some of the greatest technology solutions from around the globe. Learn about the trends affecting manufacturers, the challenges their facing, and the solutions they’re adopting.

This interview was published by Michigan Business Network December 23, 2023. ISAIC is a member of SPESA.

SPESA members are encouraged to email news and releases to or to be featured under Member Spotlights.

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