Miller Electric Mfg. Co. Donates Over $1M in Robotic Welding Equipment to Ferris State University Welding Engineering Technology Program
The donation of three complete robotic welding cells gives students in the Welding Engineering Technology program at Ferris State University the opportunity to work with up-to-date technologies and gain hands-on experience to take into the workforce.
APPLETON, Wis. (Sept. 5, 2013) — Miller Electric Mfg. Co. has donated over $1 million in robotic welding equipment and simulation software to the Welding Engineering Technology program at Ferris State University (FSU) in Big Rapids, Mich. The equipment includes three complete robotic welding cells that Miller and members of the program worked together to design modular bases for and install in the welding lab. Installation was completed in August.
The robotic welding cell donations mark the beginning of a rotating donation program organized by Miller and FSU. Moving forward, every three years Miller will update the robotic welding cells with new equipment, ensuring students are able to stay on the leading edge of these technologies and gain the hands-on experience needed to be competitive as they enter the workforce.
In addition to the donation, Miller worked closely with FSU staff to offer training to instructors on the new equipment.
“We are so pleased to be involved with this partnership,” said Kevin Summers, Miller automation specialist. “Education is critical to the future of manufacturing in our country. If we can get students interested in the industry and help them recognize that manufacturing is alive and flourishing, we can help them build a career and a future. We believe donations like this help inspire and motivate students toward that goal.”
“This donation was the result of a long term partnership between our organizations — 20-plus years — and it supports the vision we have for our program and our students,” added Jeff Hardesty, associate professor and program coordinator at FSU. “By introducing our students to state-of-the-art robotic hardware and simulation software, we are giving them a skill set that sets them apart in the industry and makes them that much more attractive to future employers.”
According to Hardesty, FSU offers a semester course on robotic welding for second year students in the two-year Welding Technology program, which results in an associate degree. They also offer a more advanced yearlong automation course sequence to third-year students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Welding Engineering Technology program. This advanced class offers student the background to specify, purchase and implement automation for a variety of industries.
# # #