Efficient Plant January 2020 - 16

feature | robotics MRO
can perform ongoing maintenance, know what
spare parts are needed, execute work orders
turned out by factory CMMS systems, and
deconstruct and rebuild industrial robotic
equipment when necessary.
An example of such a school is the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT),
which has 27 campuses across the state. They
developed a mechatronics program in the
past decade to support the new wave of highly
automated factories opening in the state, with
instructors passing on knowledge of maintenance best practices and providing real-world
experience through co-op and apprenticeship
programs. The graduates earn associates
degrees or technical certificates and strong
income potential, with starting annual salaries
between $55k and $70k.

TRAINING INSTITUTE

OPTIMIZING THE PLANT

EDE
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T BY TH

T
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Y AND
SAFERTAINING
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ELECTTENANCE T
MAIN

Compliance

Keep the workplace safe
from electrical hazards

NFPA

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2018

Electrical
Safety
Training
For enrollment info call us at
877-594-3156
www.avotraining.com

16

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

This new field of mechatronics is not just for
the factory-floor worker executing CMMS
work orders. The field is also growing at the
four-year-degree level, with mechatronics-trained engineers entering the workforce.
These engineers go beyond break/fix/service to
focus on plant-wide optimization in areas such
as product quality, solving recurring problems,
supply-chain management, warranty reduction, and root-cause analyses.
Mechatronic engineers are also optimizing plants by creating tighter links with their
production departments. After analyzing
data from their robots, PLCs, hydraulics, and
pneumatics, the engineer might conclude a line
needs five hours of preventive maintenance
each week to achieve maximum utilization.
With a holistic approach, an expert engineer
can enhance his or her relationship with the
production crew by giving them plenty of
advanced notice to perform scheduled maintenance, thus minimizing overall downtime and
increasing line productivity.
Higher education institutions such as Middle Tennessee State, Murfreesboro, and Indiana
Univ., Bloomington, offer four-year engineering degrees in mechatronics.

MECHATRONICS SCHOOLS
While mechatronics is a newly created field,
there are a number of schools already specializing in it including:
 Alexandria Technical and Community
College, Alexandria, MN
 Indiana University, Bloomington
 Lanier Technical College, Gainesville, GA
 Tennessee College of Applied Technology,
Memphis
 Western Piedmont Community College,
Morganton, NC
 Kentucky Community & Technical College System, Versailles
 West Virginia Northern Community
College, Wheeling
 West Shore Community College, Scottville, MI
 Wichita Technical College, Wichita, KS
 Yakima Valley Community College,
Yakima, WA.
If you're not in one of these areas, check
with your local community colleges and
technical schools about their associate degree
and technical certificate offerings using any
of the following terms: automation, industrial maintenance, integrated manufacturing,
mechatronics, or robotics. You also might look
for community colleges or technical institutes
aligned with the Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME), Washington
(fame-usa.com). Wayne Ellington has a tip for
finding the very cream of the crop of mechatronics technicians. "Look for competitors in,
or winners of, the Skills USA programs. Skills
USA, Leesburg, VA (skillsusa.org), is a global
program with state-level competitions for a
wide range of skills for students in high school
and community college." EP
Andrew Ruse is President at Accruent LLC,
Austin, TX (accruent.com). His background is in
industrial software sales and business operations.
He joined Accruent through the acquisition of
Maintenance Connection. Ruse also handled
sales and marketing for Ivanti, including assignments in North America, China, and Europe.

JANUARY 2020


http://www.avotraining.com http://www.fame-usa.com http://www.skillsusa.org http://www.accruent.com http://www.avotraining.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant January 2020

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