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In today’s complex and increasingly interconnected manufacturing environment, obtaining relevant, timely input from processes is key to higher efficiency and productivity. As the industrial internet of things (IIoT) develops, sensors get smarter, and reliance on smart sensor technology increases. It is a building block of Industry 4.0.
NC3 and Festo have developed two integrated certifications, ‘Introduction to Smart Sensors’ and ‘Fundamentals of Smart Sensors’ to teach students the building blocks of using this technology to improve communication in flexible manufacturing, fast commissioning, and predictive maintenance. Equipment will include smart photoelectric, inductive proximity, and ultrasonic sensors that will then be used in a bottling scenario.
Aubri Hanson, the Industrial Maintenance Instructor at Enterprise Community College, states “It is of utmost importance, as technology educators, for us to keep up with changes in the industry in order to provide the most value in our graduates. This new ‘Introduction to Smart Sensors’ certification will lend credibility to our efforts to educate tomorrow’s workforce.”
Daniel Edward, the Instructor of Industrial Electronics Technology at Patrick Henry Community College, adds “Traditional sensors have been largely constrained by issues such as system noise and signal attenuation. If we take a look at the automation pyramid, we can see that sensors are vital components in the field level. Smart sensors make it possible to combine the field and control levels of the automation pyramid together. Smart sensors include features such as communication capability and on-board diagnostics that provide information to a monitoring system and/or operator to increase operational efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.”
Daniel plans to use the ‘Introduction to Smart Sensors’ curriculum and materials to increase his knowledge of how sensors are used for:
- Condition monitoring. I.e. Which parts need replacement? Which needs maintenance? Etc.
- Improving and automating logistics and asset management by tracking location of assets
- Controlling energy costs and meeting specific regulatory requirements within industry
For more information about his new NC3 certification, please contact Lisa Marshall, NC3 Program Manager for the Festo partnership, at firstname.lastname@example.org.