Rexroth is a leader in motion control, a leader in Industry 4.0, and a leader as well in industrial training. Now the company has combined all three in a new set of rigs designed to help students and workers learn the skills they need for the new smart factory of the future.
Training provides a real solution to the Skills Gap, but many young Americans have never been in a factory, and their mental image of manufacturing is something like the photo above, dimly remembered from third grade.
Cities where the local manufacturers visit schools or bring students in to visit their facilities are likely to have fewer problems finding young workers who are open to manufacturing careers.
Now Rexroth has taken another giant step in the process, making hands-on learning accessible to workers and students.
Rexroth’s Drive & Control Academy program already uses classroom and e-learning or distance learning materials, including innovative online courseware available to everyone and augmented reality training protocols. The trio of new training rigs can be used together to create hands-on experiences that take students through the entire manufacturing process.
In fact, the rigs include HMI, RFID and Open Core Engineering from Rexroth with PLC programming options, so the users can go from programming through completion of a project.
The rigs are made with real Rexroth industrial parts and they operate just as the regular machines do. This means that they will not only give high school students a more realistic understanding of modern industrial motion control, but can also be used by experienced engineers to learn additional skills.
Retraining factory workforces for planned upgrades or future opportunities is another practical use for the rigs.
But these training rigs are designed for use in colleges and high schools, where they should help not only to increase skills, but also to improve attitudes.