September 28, 2009
ABB Robotics, a supplier of industrial robots, and Vincennes University (VU), Vincennes, Ind., have formed a partnership to enhance the college's vocational and technical robotic training and provide ABB with an authorized training facility in the central Midwest. The partnership includes the installation of 29 ABB robots and related work cells, software, and controllers into VU's new $9 million industrial training facility, the Indiana Center for Applied Technology (ICAT), which opened in March 2009. VU offers a two-year associate degree in Computer Integrated Manufacturing & Robotics and a series of robotic training courses in its Workforce Development program. The ICAT will be ABB's third authorized training center in the U.S., joining the headquarters location in Auburn Hills, Mich., and an auxiliary facility in Birmingham, Ala.
The ICAT will be equipped with a full range of industrial robots and related peripherals, including eight FlexArc Welding Cells, four IRB 260 Palletizers, three IRB 4600s, 12 IRB 140s and two used IRB 140s for service and maintenance training. In addition to the software and controllers necessary to program and operate each robot, eight of the IRB 140s are equipped with TrueView, ABB's advanced vision system. This will allow students to gain training in applications that include robotic welding and plasma cutting; picking, packing and palletizing; machine tending, material handling and product assembly; and advanced vision related programming.
The partnership is a step in the strategic plan for ABB to establish regional certified training campuses throughout North America, where robotic technicians will have easier access to comprehensive training and certification.
Though the full reach of the relationship between VU and ABB is still evolving, ABB will provide unlimited training for VU staff at the flagship training facility in Auburn Hills; full design and electrical engineering support of the robotic installations at the ICAT; and the potential for field training of VU students in conjunction with ABB's participation in industry trade shows, new industrial system installations and other industry related activities.
VU has had a similar relationship for five years with Haas Automation, a North American CNC machine tool builder.