West Virginia University at Parkersburg was awarded a $379,000 grant to purchase high-tech robotic arm equipment for students to learn state-of-the-art real-world automated manufacturing processes. The purchase of the equipment was made possible through a Rapid Response Advance Grant from the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) to address the state’s workforce needs.
With the granted funds, the college installed five robotic arms, which will be integrated into the advanced manufacturing technology degree program curriculum for the fall 2019 semester. Last week, two faculty members traveled to Rochester Hills, Mich. as part of the grant for equipment training.
The robotic arms are compact, six-axis robots with the approximate size and reach of a human arm. Each is manufactured by FANUC and equipped with its iRVision programming that allows for reliable 2D and 3D detection for visual line tracking and bin/panel picking. Students will learn how to program the robots to do various tasks typical for manufacturing operations like sorting, stacking and packaging.
In addition to instruction under the advanced manufacturing degree program, the college’s Workforce and Economic Development Division will provide FANUC’s manufacturing certification through short-term courses for quicker training and faster workforce entry.
“I am grateful for the opportunity that the WVCTCS has provided us through this grant,” said Dr. Jared Gump, division chair of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs at WVU Parkersburg. “It allows our students the opportunity to learn real-world advanced automation integration with modern technology from a national leader in industrial robotic technology.”
Visit wvup.edu/advanced-manufacturing-technology to learn more about WVU Parkersburg’s advanced manufacturing technology degree program or call (304) 424-8310 to speak with an admissions representative.