Macomb Community College has entered into an agreement with the Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA) and ATS Midwest, supporting the college’s efforts in aligning its education and training to meet the realities of Industry 4.0. Considered the fourth major disruption in modern manufacturing, Industry 4.0 represents the convergence of technologies, such as robotics, big cloud data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, that is reshaping the way things are made. Students completing Macomb’s advanced manufacturing programs will earn SACA certification, which is currently the only agency focused on comprehensive Industry 4.0 certifications.
“Arming Macomb’s graduates with SACA certification signifies to employers that they are prepared to successfully navigate the complex, integrated nature of today’s manufacturing environment,” said Don Hutchison, dean, Engineering and Advanced Technology, Macomb Community College. “We work closely with industry to create training that keeps pace with technological advancement. This positions our students with the skills they need for well-paying careers and local employers with the talent to sustain and grow their businesses.”
Previously, elements of manufacturing operated in their own silos. With the holistic merging of technologies, today’s employees need to understand the convergence of digital and physical technologies, as well as how that impacts their individual responsibilities and the manufacturing process as a whole.
“Today, technology is moving at an accelerated pace which requires a new set of working skills. If our state is to keep pace and maintain a global leadership position in manufacturing, we must transform and continuously develop our talent pipeline,” said Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading manufacturing and technology business association and Industry 4.0 knowledge center. “It is encouraging to see Macomb Community College commit to Industry 4.0 training, which will help to ensure industry receives graduates with employable skills.”
Macomb will be working with ATS Midwest to review all of the college’s advanced manufacturing programs against SACA certification requirements to ensure they are incorporated in the program’s core curriculum. Macomb and SACA are also reaching out to local industry to confirm that SACA certification requirements reflect the skills needed by industry.
Macomb is progressively reevaluating and reimaging its program offerings in light of continual and rapid technological advancement. In the automotive area, the college’s new Vehicle Engineering Technician (VET) program trains those who help engineers develop and test sophisticated vehicles that are automated, connected and electrified. In addition to basic knowledge of automotive mechanical systems that a traditional automotive service technician would learn, students in the new program develop knowledge of electronics and electronic components, vehicle networks and embedded software; an ability to interpret calibration files; and work with sensors and data acquisition systems. VET graduates, unlike traditional automotive service technicians, must also be able to build and test prototype vehicles and work on vehicle systems that have no service manual to consult.
“In southeast Michigan, industry already needs employees who understand how advanced manufacturing systems integrate,” said Hutchison. “At Macomb, we are listening to industry and creating training for individuals and industry that meets the challenges and opportunities of Industry 4.0.”
Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 38,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is one of the largest grantors of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.