Ogeechee Technical College is now poised to bring state-of-the-art robotics training to Southeast Georgia.
The college was recently certified by FANUC America Corporation, the world leader in industrial robotics, as a FANUC Authorized Satellite Training site, one of only 15 in the United States, and the only site in the state of Georgia.
“Our comprehensive FANUC Robotics lab will be incredibly important to our region,” said Jan Moore, vice president for Economic Development at Ogeechee Tech. “There are hundreds of manufacturers in the state of Georgia who use FANUC robotics for their manufacturing lines, and now those manufacturers can send their industrial systems mechanics directly to us to receive their initial robotics training and certifications. It will also bring people from neighboring states and around the country to be trained here with robotics operations and maintenance.”
Local manufacturer Briggs & Stratton has more than 65 FANUC robots embedded throughout the company’s Statesboro manufacturing facility.
“Our FANUC robots are an integral part of the plant’s production lines,” said James Suchovsky, plant manager of Statesboro’s Briggs & Stratton plant. “They are a tremendous help with both ergonomics and efficiency throughout the plant. In short, they are invaluable.”
OTC has joined an exclusive group of colleges across the country that partner as training centers for FANUC on both the academic Certified Education (CERT) and workforce development (FAST) initiatives. Paul Aiello, executive director for the CERT Education Group at FANUC America, worked with Moore for almost three years to make the partnership a reality.
“Our goal in this collaboration with Ogeechee Tech is to bring real robotic advanced automation training and industry certifications closer to the manufacturers that are or will be implementing FANUC technology,” Aiello said. “We know that OTC will develop a talent pipeline, create experiences, and inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to explore the exciting career opportunities in today’s advanced manufacturing.”
The FANUC robotics training will take place in Ogeechee Tech’s new Industrial Technology Building. Opened in January of 2019, the building is home to several of OTC’s Industrial programs and houses its high-tech Amatrol Industrial Maintenance Training Lab in addition to the newly credentialed FANUC Robotics Lab.
“We are charged with keeping our training and academic curriculum in step with changes in workforce demands,” said Ogeechee Tech President Lori Durden. “It has been clear for some time that robotics would become a driving force in manufacturing, and when this opportunity arose to become a member of the FANUC training family, we felt it was the right long-term move.”
FANUC was recently named as one of Forbes’ World’s Most Innovative Companies, and is the leading supplier of robots, CNC systems and factory automation.
In addition to training manufacturing employees, the college plans to integrate robotics training into its academic programming as part of its offerings.
“We have plans, in the not so distant future, to incorporate robotics training into our manufacturing pathway,” Durden said. “We want to give every opportunity to our students to acquire the skills that will position them for success in the advanced manufacturing environment that is rapidly becoming common place.”
FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan. FANUC’s innovative automation technologies and proven expertise help manufacturers in the Americas maximize productivity, reliability and profitability.