Northcentral Technical College dawns a new day with new manufacturing robot

Northcentral Technical College has a new robot.
Northcentral Technical College has a new robot.(WSAW Hailey Clevenger)
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 5:07 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - At Northcentral Technical College, students are always learning what’s new in the world of automation. It took all summer to build and create and now, their new manufacturing robot is here.

NTC has other small robots but this is the first robot of its kind.

“Here we have our smart manufacturing system here at NTC. The system is designed to train students on the industry of 4.0. Industry 4.0 is kind of the next wave of technology reaching our manufacturing systems,” said NTC Electromechanical Program Director Dustin Van Dee Weerd.

The robot’s main job is to make flash drives and the students are in charge of operating the robot.

“Our robot here is going to feed the system as well as feed the robotic assembly here. The idea is to actually manufacture a product and have our students learn through manufacturing actual parts,” says Van Dee Weerd.

It took months for the robot to arrive at NTC. Faculty wants students to only learn from the best and newest designs in the manufacturing world to really prepare their students for a real career in automation.

“We thought it was going to be an eye-catcher. We wanted to do something that no other education facility has ever done. It did take us about eighteen months to get this robot in, so we are pretty excited when it finally came in,” says Van Dee Weerd.

Van Dee Weerd added that this robot has sparked a new interest in manufacturing and students are eager to test it out. “We’ve received a lot of pictures, a lot of students taking selfies with it. It’s pretty awesome and they are all excited to learn about the new technology here,” said Van Dee Weerd.

NTC purchased the parts from Lab Midwest. The robot will be used by students in the fall.