Mechatronics Education Center - Program Overview

Uploaded by MecEducationCenter on 20.02.2009

Narrator: Manufacturing is the engine that drives the US economy.
Advancements in manufacturing technologies have enabled the US to not only remain competitive
but also be a leader in the global manufacturing community.
These highly automated processes have created unprecedented levels of quality and productivity.
Mechatronics is the integration of the computer, electrical, and mechanical systems that
make up these improved manufacturing processes.
In plain English, Mechatronics is how high-tech manufacturing gets done today.
And it’s one of the fastest growing career areas in the world.
A common application of Mechatronics is the computerized control of
electric motors and sensory feedback for robotic arms.
Today, the application of Mechatronics is evident in a broad range of consumer and industrial products
and perhaps, most importantly, in the processes used for manufacturing and distributing those products.
The importance of Mechatronics to the Nebraska economy led to the development
of the Mechatronics Education Center based at Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska.
The Mechatronics program is a partnership comprised of business, education,
and government participants that focuses on developing a high-tech manufacturing workforce for the state.
Initial funding for the program came from a $1.6 million dollar federal grant awarded in November 2004.
The primary objective for the Mechatronics project is to build capacity within community colleges
and high schools to address the needs of industry by supplying them
with an increased pool of skilled technicians – and to upgrade existing technicians.
This is accomplished by combining hands-on exercises with simulation software.
Professional Development is also provided to high school and college faculty, counselors, and administrators.
These educators learn to use Mechatronics resources through workshops, lectures, and the internet.
The centerpiece of the Mechatronics program is the fully automated Manufacturing Learning
Laboratory, which features a broad range of equipment to teach and develop Mechatronics students.
It includes a working lab environment, remote access capability, and a Flexible Manufacturing System.
Additionally, the modular production stations have virtual counterparts, which may be used for remote and distance learning.
Dan Davidchik – Project Coordinator: The whole purpose of the Mechatronics Education Center is to serve two populations, we
want to work with education and we want to work with current business.
Businesses are the the advance manufacturers across the state of Nebraska.
Narrator: Advancements in manufacturing technologies has increased the demand for highly trained workers
and these trends are expected to accelerate in the future.
Agriculture, automotive, bio-medical, and food processing are just a few examples
of the industries in Nebraska that utilize Mechatronics principles in their manufacturing processes.
Richard Baier - DED Director: We think they are doing a great job of training our workforce in Nebraska and creating
an opportunity for retaining our some of our best
and brightest students for careers in technical skilled occupations.
Clearly a shortage for our state is something that we feel is important longterm
for the future of our state, but our ability to retain and grow not only young people
but retain and grow those businesses that are so essential to our economy to the state of Nebraska.
Narrator: Central’s Mechatronics program has been highly effective at achieving its goals
by working with business partners to provide a career pathway for individuals seeking high-skill, high-wage manufacturing jobs.
This can be seen through the hundred plus Nebraska businesses who trained
with the Mechatronics program and the substantial growth in Central’s Mechatronics/Industrial Technology Degree.
The program provides an in-depth education with employment opportunities that
include: Electro-Mechanical Technician, Engineering Technician, Mechatronics Technician and Industrial Maintenance Technician.
Mechatronics education offers tremendous economic opportunities to Nebraska businesses
and their communities as they respond to the challenges of an increasingly competitive job market.
Fernando Lecuona III - DOL Commissioner: In order for us to compete in Nebraska and in this country. We need to have a skilled workforce.
In order for us to have a skilled workforce, we need to make sure we are doing the right kinds of things
to bring modern technology to the table for younger people.
Mechatronics is one of those programs in the curriculum standpoint that is educating young people in particular,
into the new ways of Manufacturing and that is vitally important to this country.
Narrator: Education in Mechatronics is providing Nebraska’s businesses and industries
with the skilled workforce they need to compete effectively in a global economy.
Mechatronics education is also providing Nebraska students with a secure and well-paid career path.
It is also Mechatronics education that is allowing Nebraska’s communities to prosper
from the economic benefits provided by local business growth and a more stable, growing workforce.