The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), in partnership with Festo Didactic, will establish industry-recognized skills standards and credentials for jobs related to Industry 4.0. With the significant trend in digitalization of manufacturing through technology advancements such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), training in these skills is needed. With NIMS’ emphasis on manufacturing skills training, credentialing, and standards, plus Festo’s complete Industry 4.0 learning Factories, courseware, and eLearning integration, the two organizations are well poised to provide the training programs for Industry 4.0.
Montez King, executive director of NIMS, says, “This is an exciting development for manufacturers and educators as it directly addresses both the data-driven revolution happening in manufacturing today and the skills gap. There are so many interdependent functions and abilities surrounding Industry 4.0 that this effort will help to bring clarity to the proficiencies required, train people extremely well, and validate their expertise.”
The emergence of Industry 4.0 is new territory for most in manufacturing. As such, among the first tasks to be accomplished is to conduct research to discover and verify exactly what those competencies must be. Then, the training protocols and credentials will be created.
“We are hopeful to have the standards identified and the training program in place by the end of 2019,” King says.
Thomas Lichtenberger, CEO of Festo Didactic says, “As the production line become ‘smarter’ – collecting data to change processes and create efficiencies – workers and students will be expected to adapt in the same way. Bringing NIMS, Festo, and other industry partners together, we look forward to a collaboration that leads to world class industry standards and learning systems programs.”
During the development of the new Industry 4.0 skills standards, NIMS will ascertain the credentials in its existing programs that support the various Industry 4.0 functions and target new credentials for development. The training outcome is to provide employees in or entering a manufacturing workplace with an understanding of Industry 4.0 concepts and impart certifiable skills as companies increasingly adopt automation and data gathering and management functions in their manufacturing operations.
Massachusetts Governor welcomes Festo, 12 other firms at annual MassEcon Event
Festo technologists are developing fluid handling systems for increasing the speed, accuracy of automated screening, sequencing laboratory equipment.
Governor Charlie Baker recently recognized 13 companies, including Festo, for locating or growing businesses in Massachusetts at the 11th annual MassEcon Corporate Welcome Reception.
The companies recognized created 500-plus new jobs, expanded business space by more than 130,000ft2 located in multiple regions of the state, and are involved in life sciences, manufacturing, technology, beverage, printing, and health care. Among the 13 were such well-recognized names as Aetna, Gelato, Humana, and Servier Pharmaceuticals. This was the fifth year that Baker welcomed companies at MassEcon’s event, which has been held for past 11 years. MassEcon champions Massachusetts as one of the world’s best places to start, grow, and locate a business.
Festo dedicated a Technology Engineering Center (TEC) in Billerica in 2018. This TEC is the company’s first engineering center in the United States devoted to the life sciences. Being located in greater Boston gives personnel proximity to such research institutions as MIT, Harvard, and Brown. The region also hosts many laboratory equipment manufacturers. The team at TEC pioneers the development of new high speed, high accuracy fluid handling products based on pneumatic principles. The center works with individual customers on automated motion and fluid handling solutions that bring laboratory equipment to market faster and with less cost.
“Establishing this center for LifeTech research and development in greater Boston was the right thing to do in terms of talent pool, proximity to customers, and being a great place to live and work,” notes Craig Correia, director, Process Industries, NAFTA. “It was an honor to be recognized by the governor at the annual MassEcon welcome reception.”
“As I listened to the companies that were being welcomed, I could tell many of them are here because of the rich and diverse community … that we have,” Gov. Baker says. “Our success as a Commonwealth has been this ability to retain the … vitality of local communities while we continue to attract these terrific businesses.”