Mechatronics Building Opening Fall, 2017
Groundbreaking for the new Mechatronics Building on the main campus of Western Piedmont Community College took place on October 14, 2016. The single-story, 7,000 square-foot building is located near Breeden and Rostan Halls and includes 2 labs, 2 related classrooms, a support room, and conference room.
The new Mechatronics Building will house both a modernized Industrial Systems Technology and the new Mechatronics Engineering Technology program at WPCC. Both programs feature a mixture of different areas of study, focusing on robotics, automation, and programmable logic controllers (PLC) which are used in a variety of industrial settings.
Major contributors to the building’s construction include Golden Leaf Foundation ($750,000) and the Cannon Foundation ($100,000). Grant awards from Duke Energy ($184,600) and the Unifour Foundation ($10,000) enabled the College to purchase updated Mechatronics equipment. Burke County has also committed $433,400 to the project.
Currently, plans call for the building to open in the fall of 2017.
Learn more About Mechatronic Engineering Technology
Mechatronics is a scientific field that combines mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering in developing industrial processes that efficiently manufacture products. Some industries that use mechatronics in their processes include metal component manufacturing, industrial equipment electrical products, chemical processing, furniture, and textiles.
Mechatronics features work with robotics, automation, hydraulics, pneumatics, and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in developing and testing automated, servo-mechanical, and other electromechanical systems. Prototype testing, startup, troubleshooting, repair, and process improvement are just a few of the areas of specialty for graduates in this field.
In addition, students have the opportunity to learn on the job while they attend classes through Apprenticeship Burke.
So where can I work?
A WPCC graduate with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Mechatronics will be prepared for jobs in industry that are related to:
- Robot installation and maintenance
- Automation equipment installation, troubleshooting and maintenance
- PLC programming
- Installation, maintenance and repair of mechanical, controls, fluid power, electrical and electronic systems.
Western Piedmont students who successfully complete the Mechatronics program could find employment with any number of local companies and earn a starting salary ranging from $30,000 to $40,000 per year.
Mechatronics at WPCC
- Robotics – automated electro-mechanical machines that can take the place and/or compliment humans in repetitive manufacturing processes maintaining accuracy and consistency
- Automation – is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery and processes with minimal or reduced human intervention. Automation can save labor, save energy and materials and improve quality, accuracy and precision.
- Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) – Small dedicated computer-like devices used to control or automate industrial equipment and processes. A modern residential programmable thermostat is a simple dedicated version.
What You Will Study
The Mechatronics Engineering Technology program at WPCC offers the following course of study:
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