Last week’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago featured Festo Didactic as an exhibitor. The company also teamed up with Siemens and SICK Safety to build awareness of recent advances in industry and technical education – in part by co-hosting a special learning competition at the Smartforce Student Summit.
The goal was to inform and interest young people at IMTS about the future of manufacturing, while helping students and incumbent workers gain the hands-on experience they require for competitive advanced manufacturing careers.
New insights into Industry 4.0
An education company with roots in manufacturing automation, Festo Didactic leverages industry experience to offer learning solutions to develop skills in mechatronics and factory automation. With industry-simulated learning equipment, Festo and its partners helped participants in the competition to gain new insights into Industry 4.0 tools and systems.
The Industry 4.0 Skills Competition came to life with the help of the Florida Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program. It began with students using basic skill sets in mechatronics – such as mechanical, fluid power, electronic, and software-controlled components – to reflect the industrial evolution from Industry 3.0 to 4.0.
The competition had three phases. The first was carried out on the Festo MecLab, which introduced industrial automation to the students. Working in pairs, they were tasked with assembling, integrating, and programming components to create automated systems that could complete specific tasks. FluidSIM software was used to conduct the programming.
Phase 2 focused on troubleshooting an Industry 4.0 Cyber-Physical Lab training system that included robotics. The students reviewed theoretical content from the Festo I4.Core Career pathway curriculum, which prepared them to troubleshoot PLC, HMI, MES, and other real industrial advanced technology components that are tightly integrated. In the third phase, students were tested on their ability to complete risk assessments on robotic systems integrated into cyber-physical training modules. A Safety Awareness Bundle was created, focused on robot risk assessments and data collection and dissemination.
Skills competitions like this one allow students to learn by doing, as opposed to theory in a classroom, to equip them with true skills for the real world.
For more information, contact Festo.