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Yuri Denishchich training students with KUKA's ready2_educate cell

Community College Uses Educational Robot Cells to Help Fill Skilled Labor Pool

Manufacturers continue to face increased staffing pressure as experienced shop floor personnel retire and skilled replacement workers are in short supply.

Developing the Workforce of Tomorrow

As manufacturers face staffing pressure, the level of industrial technology sophistication advances non-stop, and many open positions require more than basic entry-level knowledge. While manufacturers conduct on-the-job training, they are still in dire need of ways to give potential employees background in current manufacturing practices and equipment.

It is for this reason Spartanburg Community College (SCC), with five campuses in three counties in upstate South Carolina, has provided technical education to the region’s citizens for more than 60 years. Its diploma, certificate and degree courses evolve continually to enable graduates to meet the current needs of local industry. The school also conducts frequent job fairs for prospective students resulting in some manufacturers recruiting students and paying them to get technical training at SCC while also receiving on-the-job training at the manufacturer’s facility.
Within SCC, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Industrial Technology (CAMIT) keeps pace with the progress of manufacturing technology to prepare its students for what they’ll face in the real world. CAMIT program areas include automation and electronics, mechatronics, industrial and trade areas such as automotive technology, HVAC, CNC machining technology and welding.

The CAMIT mechatronics program, for example, provides a thorough introduction to electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical systems. The program graduates about 100 students a year, the majority of whom immediately gain employment in maintenance and related positions.
Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial technologies at Spartanburg Community College
The Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Industrial Technology (CAMIT) offers manufacturing, industrial and engineering technology programs.
Spartanburg has two Ready2_educate cells, and multiple additional robots
Robotics are playing an increasingly larger role in manufacturing, requiring familiarity and experience in automation from those entering the workforce.

Getting Familiar With Robotics

South Carolina is home to a large number of OEM automotive manufacturers and part suppliers. Robotic manufacturing has become a major contributor to manufacturing productivity, especially in the automotive sector. With the help of robot manufacturer KUKA Robotics, SCC provides an opportunity for its students to gain solid familiarity with the current state of robot mechanics and operation.
In CAMIT’s Automated Manufacturing Technology program students learn the basics of robotic systems including safe operation, controllers, manipulators, and tooling. The program also teaches basic robot programming and how robots are assembled, with the purpose of providing general understanding of robotic technology and preparing students to handle robotic maintenance work.

Robotics 1 teaches safe robot operation, how a robot moves, and what it does. Robotics 2 goes into more detail regarding grippers, tooling, basic programming, the peripheral area around the robot and how all the elements tie together.
Yuri Denishchich training students with KUKA's ready2_educate cell
Students learn the basics of robotic systems including safe operation, controllers, manipulators, and tooling. This includes operation with the KUKA smartPAD.

Prepping Tomorrow's Workforce

Students at Spartanburg Community College learn how to program industrial robots.

Turnkey Cells for Robotic Training

SCC supports its robotic educational efforts with a pair of training cells specifically developed to provide entry into the world of robotics. Each Ready2_educate training cell from KUKA consists of a mobile, modular cabinet equipped with a small six-axis KR 4 AGILUS robot and an energy-efficient KR C5 micro controller that enables simple and flexible programming. The AGILUS robot has a payload capacity of 8.8 lbs. (4 kg) and reach of 23.6" (600 mm). The compact training cell is 74" (1860 mm) tall, 472.2" (1200 mm) wide, 35.4" (900 mm) deep and weighs 859.8 lbs. (390 kg). It features ready-to-use educational starter packs tailored to students and apprentices.
Yuri Denishchich training students with KUKA's ready2_educate cell
With the Ready2_educate, students can learn simple stacking tasks to complex continuous path motion and corresponding logic programming.
Yuri Denishchich is Spartanburg's Automated Manufacturing instructor

Use of KUKA robots advance the college’s mission to prepare students for the real world. A major automotive manufacturer in the area employs KUKA robots. We try to teach students on the kind of equipment they are going to see in the field.

Yuri Denishchich, Automated Manufacturing instructor, SCC
Yuri added that KUKA educational materials supplied with the Ready2_educate cells include a three-level curriculum and student and instructor workbooks that facilitate training efforts. Content of the course extends from basic to complex programming, and printed material complements work in the lab with actual robots.
Students learn programming the KR AGILUS with the KUKA smartPAD
Ready2_educate cells provide easy entry into basic and complex programming.
KR AGILUS is a small payload industrial robot
The KR AGILUS is a compact, six-axis industrial robot designed for high performance and accuracy while maintaining a small footprint. 

Partnership Makes it Possible

Southern Education Systems Inc. (SES), a KUKA System Partner, initiated and coordinated the incorporation of the Ready2_ educate cells into SCC’s educational programs. SES specializes in educational and training equipment for career and technical educators. It serves the Southeastern United States from its corporate offices in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The company’s team of experienced professional regional managers and on-site technical support specialist provide all planning, sales and support needs.
Southern Education Systems is an official System Partner with KUKA Robotics
Southern Education Systems is a KUKA System Partner specializing in providing educational equipment solutions for technical educators.
Garrett Brown is the Chairman of Spartanburg's Advanced Manufacturing Department

KUKA educational robot cells are sold at a cost-effective price point and are compact, which enables the school to use multiple machines and instruct a maximum number of students in one location.

Garrett Brown, Chairman, Advanced Manufacturing Department, SCC
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