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SCC Hosts Purdue University and AMTEC to Assist in Creation of Virtual Manufacturing Simulator

From left, Samuel Albrecht (Monticello), Austin Harris (Somerset) and Gabriel Stalcup (Albany) work on the simulator at Somerset Community College.
Students like Derek Albertson, a 2015 graduate of the Somerset Community College Industrial Maintenance Technology program, have utilized the colleges partnership with AMTEC to find employment. Albertson was recently hired by Nissan North America as a multi-skilled maintenance technician.
There has been a whole lot of simulating going on at Somerset Community College.

Students and faculty members from Purdue University Calumet were recently on hand at Somerset Community College to meet with SCC Industrial Maintenance Technology program faculty and students, as well as staff from the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC), in order to troubleshoot and perfect the virtual manufacturing simulator they are building for AMTEC. The simulator is modeled after a machine, also called a simulator, that is located on the SCC campus.

The simulator at SCC replicates various mechanical properties that are in the manufacturing world, such as robotics, PLC (programmable logic controller), basic electricity, safety and computer literacy. Basically anything that can be mimicked can be taught on the machine, said Craig Hopkins, AMTEC project manager. We are working with Purdue to build a virtual simulator that does everything the actual simulator does. Having it available virtually allows each student to have access to the machine in real time at any location.

Hopkins said AMTEC is a collaboration of community and technical colleges and industry partners who share a common goal in better preparing the manufacturing and technology workforce and filling industry positions.

There are more than 60,000 open manufacturing maintenance positions in the United States, Hopkins said. Our goal is to fill each and every one of those with highly trained and skilled workers.

AMTEC partners with colleges, such as SCC, and assists students in various programs with additional training and industry connections.

We are working with colleges to educate people who want to go into maintenance as their chosen way of life, Hopkins said. We have partners in the automotive, aerospace, film, chemical and agricultural industries, among others.

Purdue University Calumet was chosen to conduct the virtual build due to their high reputation in simulation design, Hopkins said. Once the virtual simulation program is built, which is expected to be in mid-2016, students in AMTEC-related programs, like Industrial Maintenance at SCC, will have access to it at no cost.

Our main objective is to match the employee with the right job and the right company, said Hopkins. This tool will help broaden our reach.

AMTEC already works with 70 different industry and community and technical colleges throughout the United States, ranging from South Carolina to Washington state.

While at SCC, individuals from AMTEC, SCC, and Purdue University worked through potential troubleshooting scenarios that may arise with the virtual program. Working as a team, each scenario was explored and worked through.

We came to SCC to do this work because the faculty here have been willing to help at the drop of a hat, said Hopkins. And the SCC faculty are knowledgeable. Students at SCC have been scoring equal to, or above, national levels in certifications tests and we expect students going through the AMTEC modules to score even higher. We are appreciative of SCC and all of our college partners for their assistance with this project.