AUTOMATION ROBOTICS ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
- Class Time: Day
- Semester: Fall and Spring Semester
- Campus: Eden Prairie Campus
Automated technology in today’s workplace calls for individuals who are highly skilled; that is why training at HTC is a great choice. In the packaging field, work varies according to the product manufactured, the process and machinery used, and the utilization of the product. What they have in common is the need for automated machine mechanics or technicians who have knowledge and hands-on experience. With training at HTC, you will be ready to apply your skills in the designing, building, installing, and troubleshooting of high-tech, high-speed automated electro-mechanical machinery systems for packaging and other manufacturing applications. Whether it is diagnosing and quickly solving problems so production flow is maintained or assisting engineers in the development and modification of new and existing designs, you will be prepared for a career that is set to grow as technology advances.
A longtime leader in Automation Robotics Engineering Technology (ARET) training, Hennepin Technical College is now the first technical college in Minnesota to be certified as an official training and education site for FANUC Robotics Material Handling Program Software. This certification provides HTC with access to innovative instructional tools creating the ability to offer highly marketable and sought-after factory certified training. HTC was the first technical college in Minnesota and one of the first in the United States to attain certification. FANUC Certified Education Robot Training (CERT) can only be purchased from FANUC and is only offered to educational institutions that have a FANUC robot. Most of the FANUC robots at HTC are equipped with iRVision from FANUC. HTC purchased a FANUC robot, through a grant, as a partner institution in the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence. Additionally, the ARET program has two more FANUC and 14 robots from other industry suppliers. Hennepin Technical College has three additional FANUC robots throughout the campus.
Work in the packaging field will vary according to the product manufactured, the process and machinery used, and the utilization of the product. However, most companies categorize the work into the following positions: Automated Machine Mechanic – a highly skilled individual whose skills include the ability to diagnose and quickly solve a problem so production flow is maintained. This person is competent in electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, robotics, welding, machinist skills, and the use of micro-processors and programmable controllers.
These skills, plus a knowledge of packaging fundamentals, make the Automated Packaging Mechanic invaluable in today’s automated technology. Automated Machine Technician is knowledgeable in packaging materials, machinery, and systems used in the field of automation. Technicians are called upon to assist engineers in the development and modification of new and existing designs. Technicians set up production lines and train in-plant machine operators and maintenance personnel on its operation and troubleshooting techniques.
The ARET program instructors have complete detail and vendor recommendations for all required tools. Efforts are taken to keep the required tools to a minimum to lower costs for all incoming students. Special professional grade tools ($500 and up) will be supplied by the program. Students will not be required to purchase them.
The ARET Program does not have any prerequisites other than the regular Admissions process.
Graduates will work in a variety of environments from field service, to customer service, to sales, to manufacturing and assembly. Our graduates enjoy a wide variety of employment in any number of different locations and environments from small employers to Fortune 500 companies.
Automated packaging machine mechanics and technicians are in high demand; surveys indicate even a greater demand as technologies advance. Before reaching the consumer, almost every product is packaged and packed in several forms. Automation in the manufacturing industry is a high opportunity field. This is a Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) approved program. According to iseek.org, this industry currently is expecting an 8% growth rate. Graduates of this program have had a 100% job placement rate since its inception in 1973 as the Nation's original Packaging Technician Program.
Potential Job Titles
Hennepin Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2003, HTC became a member of the HLC Academic Quality Improvement Program.
Every year, PMMI’s Education and Training Foundation supports packaging industry education in a number of ways. In addition to connecting partner schools with machinery donors, providing events that support industry education at the PACK EXPO trade shows and providing a hiring forum for graduating student at the Career Center at packexpo.com. PMMI supplies scholarship funds to packaging schools and PMMI members who continue their education. “These students are the future of the packaging industry,” said Charles D. Yuska, President and CEO, PMMI. “I can't think of any better investment for our association than an investment in tomorrow’s packaging leaders.”
The ARET program has an active advisory committee. The purpose of advisory committees is to promote partnerships between career and technical education, business, labor, and the communities they serve. Advisory committee members provide input on program structure, curriculum, technology, and student preparation.