Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Seneca now offering mechatronics certification courses



Feb. 16, 2016 – Seneca College and Siemens Canada say they are helping to address the technical skills gap in Canadian manufacturing with the opening of Seneca College’s Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre (MSDC), the first of its kind in Ontario, they say.

On February 12, the parties celebrated the official opening of the centre and Manufacturing AUTOMATION was there to capture all the action.

The college transformed an existing lab facility to serve as the training ground for students to pursue the Siemens Mechatronics Systems certification program, a “pillar” of the Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy (SCETA) established in 2015.


Photos courtesy of Seneca College, A. Capkun and A. Dalton

The opening of the centre builds on the partnership established between Seneca and Siemens Canada last February with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) focused on program development, research and teaching in mechatronics. Provincial funding of $651,000 contributed to the equipment and curriculum development for the centre.

“Siemens is a global leader in advanced manufacturing and industry, and it’s an honour to partner with them to open Seneca’s Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre,” says David Agnew, president of Seneca College. “Our thanks go as well to the Government of Ontario for its investment in this sophisticated teaching and learning environment. Together, we are helping provide Ontario with the highly skilled graduates we need to continue to thrive in the complex and sophisticated world of advanced manufacturing.”

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“Today’s manufacturing systems are becoming ever more complex and digitalized, and there is a growing need for qualified individuals with the knowledge required to design, operate and maintain them,” continues Robert Hardt, president and CEO at Siemens Canada.

Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical, electrical and computer technologies as well as control and systems theory into a single system used in production and manufacturing, describes Siemens. In practical terms, mechatronics “raises the bar for Industry 4.0 by offering a holistic, hands-on approach to automation that can improve efficiency, productivity and quality and ultimately decrease time to market,” it adds.

“This innovative facility will provide students with the expertise to compete for jobs in Ontario’s evolving manufacturing sector, and in turn, will help industry partners find the skilled employees they need to grow their businesses,” says Reza Moridi, minister of training, colleges and universities.

As of this semester, Mechatronics certification courses, designed to be integrated into the existing curriculum, will be offered to Seneca students in two levels. Each level is based on a job profile — a description of the tasks that the certified individual should be able to perform. Job profiles are developed by Siemens in collaboration with other industry and public sector partners, and help to define the levels, either Assistant or Associate.

Siemens says it is the only global industrial company to offer the internationally recognized Mechatronics certification program in cooperation with partner colleges and universities throughout North America, Asia and Africa.