FANUC/Rockwell Automation address manufacturing skills gap
To address the manufacturing skills gap, FANUC America and Rockwell Automation have formed a coalition to accelerate work and learn apprenticeship programs to upskill current and future workers for jobs in advanced manufacturing, robotics and automation.
“As industry adopts new technologies, it is vital to be able to quickly adapt with a well-trained workforce. Having the most current standards will drive manufacturing competitiveness and simultaneously grow new talent to these new occupations, upskill current employees, and allow companies to be more agile in their workforce planning,” said Michael Cook, Director Global Academic Organization, Rockwell Automation.
The Coalition: addressing the skills gap
As part of the coalition, APT - a FANUC and Rockwell Automation systems integrator - and NOCTI Business Solutions, which provides independent assessments of occupational standards and validation using recognised ISO, will be used.
In addition, Franklin Apprenticeships - a key partner of the coalition - will ensure there is an apprenticeship support structure, as well as success enablers for employers and apprentices.
The coalition has developed new programs providing opportunities for apprentices to gain credentials that include fundamental robotics (Robot Operator) and automation (PLC Operator), as well as further higher levels for Robot and PLC Technicians and Integration Specialist builds.
It is expected that all new offerings will provide more people with fulfilling careers and help companies to bridge the demand for skilled workers.
“Our number one goal is to help create a worker pipeline that will not only help people increase their skills and future earning potential, but to help manufacturers achieve their production goals and maintain a thriving economy. In most cases, current and future workers can complete the apprenticeship skills training and achieve their industry-recognized certifications in less than one year. It’s also important to note that these programs support all types of apprenticeship and certification models, including pre-apprenticeships,” commented Paul Aiello, Director of Education, FANUC America.
“As technology advances at a fast pace, it is important that companies play a bigger role in education to ensure a safe, productive and sustainable work environment. FANUC and our coalition look forward to helping as many people as possible take advantage of these accelerated work and apprenticeship programs,” concluded Aiello.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.