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Robot donation puts Fanshawe students ahead

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | February 9th, 2009

Abrigo Industrial Machines Inc. has donated a $75,000 FANUC Robot for the Fanshawe College School of Manufacturing Sciences.

On Thursday, January 29, Fanshawe College received a state-of-the-art FANUC Robot to be used to enhance technology students' learning potential for future success.

In a press release Angelo Abrigo, President of Abrigo Industrial Machines Inc. said that he is happy to be collaborating with the city of London and Fanshawe College on this donation.

“Fanshawe's laboratories are technologically advanced and are graduating students that will contribute to the future prosperity of our company,” Abrigo stated.

With the current economy in turmoil, the future depends on skilled workers who will have knowledge to take technology further than it has gone before.

“We donated the robot to the College because we believe this school is important for us in the future,” said Giorgio Calorio, of Abrigo Industrial Machines Inc. in Brantford, Ontario.

“One day we will need more electronic or skilled workers. Plus at Abrigo we want to build a good relationship with the London community and eventually other manufacturers in the area.”

Abrigo builds robotic machinery and automated systems for the food processing industry, secondary packaging and palletizing.

“This generous donation is a major contribution to our lab resources, and will enable us to expand our project based learning in the senior semesters of our controls, robotics, and project courses. It also will allow us to partner with Abrigo to develop automation solutions through our courses or through Applied Research,” said John Makaran, Chair at the School of Manufacturing Sciences at Fanshawe College during a speech at the Abrigo Recognition event.

“More important, it will allow us to better train individuals with relevant skill sets that will be able to hit the ground running. That is a positive for the local economy, and especially an economy that is in transition.”

The donated FANUC robot has basic features already installed. Whether professors want to enhance the robot's abilities is entirely their choice.

According to Calorio, the robot that was donated comes programmed and has some basic functions already installed, which leaves the software open for further modifications. Fanshawe teachers and students can modify and use the robot for different kinds of tests and for however they see an appropriate fit for the classroom.

“The robot is a six-axis robot; it can reproduce the movement of a human arm. It can be used with others that already have to simulate more complex applications,” noted Calorio.

The future looks prosperous for workers who portray much needed skill in a chosen field of technology.

“What the industry needs is to have skilled technicians with a complete preparation,” said Calorio. “We can't afford to hire someone that knows only something specific.”

The manufacturers remain optimistic to see what the future has in store for those trained on the equipment of tomorrow.

“Now, and in the future, the needs of the manufacturers will be young and new technicians who have a basic knowledge of PLC, Motion Controller, Robotic, mechanical concepts, pneumatic circuits,” added Calorio. “A student that is already trained with robotic application will have a better CV profile then others… believe me, you will see more and more robotic application in the next few years that will replace old rigid solutions used since today.”
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