The skills manufacturing facilities need from newly graduated students are evolving due to Industry 4.0. More and more factories are incorporating automated systems and robotics, which are designed and maintained by people. To help educators and representatives from the local workforce collaborate on this critical revolution, AET Labs and Festo hosted the New England Industry 4.0 Summit, which took place at Northeastern University's new Cyber Physical Advanced Manufacturing Lab.
The day started with an introduction from David Kempskie, Principal and Founder of AET Labs, welcoming New England educators, representatives from workforce development organizations, and industry partners. Jim Giumarra, Associate Teaching Professor at Northeastern University, then kicked off the day, providing an overview of the Bachelor's of Mechatronics program offered through Northeastern's College of Professional Studies. This recently launched program is successfully providing training to adults with varying professional backgrounds, where they earn a degree and industry-recognized credentials through the Festo Industry 4.0 Certification Program.
Next, Ted Rozier from Festo spoke about Industry 4.0 and the importance of covering digital transformation in curriculums to prepare students for future engineering and manufacturing careers. He introduced industry partners, including Chris Savoia from Universal Robots, Bryan Sellers from SICK, Inc., and Peter Zink from PTC. Chris spoke about how Universal Robots collaborative robots play a role in the industry and are easy to use and engaging for students in the classroom. Bryan gave insight into the role of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial automation applications. Peter touched on PTC software and how it gives companies the power to create more innovative products, solutions, and workforces.
The day continued with a tour of the beautiful new Festo CP Factory at Northeastern University. An engineer from Festo demonstrated it, and Mohsen Moghaddam, Assistant Professor at Northeastern, answered questions about it. Here's a video about the CP Factory and why Northeastern added it to their new lab.
The day concluded with Ted Rozier from Festo discussing Industry 4.0 certification pathways for students and emerging technology that is becoming increasingly important for students to be exposed to.
It was an exciting day bringing together educators and local industry representatives to collaborate and make new connections, all for the purpose of preparing our students for rewarding career paths at New England companies!
If you're interested in learning more about how to teach your students about Industry 4.0 through industry-recognized certifications or equipment used in the workforce, contact AET Labs! We've helped Northeastern University, and many other New England schools bring Industry 4.0 education to their curriculums.