Concord, NH – NHTI – Concord’s Community College recently received a donation of a Lean Automated Robotic Soldering System (LARSS) from BAE Systems to support the college’s robotics and automation programs. The LARSS automation machine will enhance students’ understanding of modern advanced manufacturing systems by allowing them to work on sophisticated industrial equipment used in today’s workplace and prepare them for an industry in need of skilled workers.
“NHTI prides itself on its hands-on education,” said Joe Cunningham, department chair of mechanical, manufacturing, robotics and automation engineering technologies at NHTI. “Automation is everywhere, and companies are in need of skilled workers who have the expertise to maintain, operate and program these machines to keep them running at the highest level. We are extremely grateful for this generous donation from BAE Systems and look forward to using it in our classroom as we train the next generation of workers to meet industry demand.”
Much of the manufacturing industry has advanced from manual tasks to more interactive and cognitive tasks as a result of advanced technologies, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Workforce Automation Report (March 2019). Companies are adopting workforce automation systems because of the cost savings and improved product quality. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) reported that over 14,000 electro-mechanical technicians are needed to operate, test and maintain automated technologies, like LARSS. It’s a growing field that is in high-demand and according to the BLS the median pay nationally for these positions is more than $57,000, following an associate degree or some sort of postsecondary certificate.
“After an extensive selection process, BAE Systems offered the donation of the LARSS to NHTI. NHTI demonstrated the strongest plan for use of both the system as well as its components in the education of their students,” said Butch Locke, operations director at BAE Systems. “BAE Systems is happy to provide this tool to engage students in real world learning. These technologies are changing the way we work.”
Students will use the LARSS in NHTI’s Robotics and Automation and Manufacturing Engineering Technologies Associate in Science degree programs.
“Community partners and regional industries are key to NHTI student learning and success,” said Cunningham. “This gift from BAE Systems demonstrates the industry’s commitment to and investment in education and the local workforce.”
To learn more about NHTI’s Robotics and Automation or Manufacturing Engineering Technologies programs, contact Joe Cunningham at [email protected], 603-271-6484 x 4416 or visit nhti.edu.
Photo caption: NHTI recently installed the Lean Automated Robotic Soldering System – donated by BAE Systems – in their classroom to train the next generation of workers. Image provided by Cara Dukelow Photographer.