Greenville Technical College and Renishaw Inc., a global, high-precision metrology and health care technology company, have announced an agreement that allows GTC’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation to use the company’s equipment for formal technical training.
The agreement allows GTC’s teachers and students to use Renishaw’s equipment in the classroom and for Renishaw to bring potential customers in to view equipment operations.
“One of the things that inspired the agreement was the opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art facility, where Renishaw could bring in equipment and students and teachers could use it,” said Kelvin Byrd, interim director for the Center for Manufacturing Innovation.
He said Renishaw can showcase, in the classroom environment, equipment to potential customers or clients. The arrangement will also allow area businesses to train employees with machine tool or computer numerical control backgrounds, Byrd said.
Renishaw’s connection with the CMI is the first additive manufacturing collaboration between the company with a United States technical college. According to Byrd, through this partnership, the CMI now offers courses to cover basic metrology (the science of measurement) and additive manufacturing (the process of metal 3D printing).
In addition to the partnership with Renishaw, GTC added a bachelor’s degree in applied science in advanced manufacturing technology to the curriculum at CMI to prepare graduates to work in technical and managerial leadership positions in the manufacturing sector.
“Students pursuing that degree would be allowed an opportunity to move up in management, where they can be a plant manager, quality supervisor, any type of engineer dealing with manufacturing (or) overall manufacturing engineer,” Byrd said. “This degree allows them to bridge the gap between higher managers and someone working on the floor.”
The program, he said, is targeted for individuals who want to work in manufacturing, but who do not want to pursue engineering degrees. Students will be given the opportunity to study various subjects, including robotic skills and the principles of lean manufacturing.
“It gives them a well-rounded set of skills that will allow them to have a broader understanding of manufacturing from the bottom, to the type from the individual working on the floor, all the way up to upper management,” Byrd said. “It’s going to cover all the bases.”
While the program does offer students the opportunity to learn hands-on, one of the biggest benefits is that is affordable, he said.
“Without any financial assistance, the most (it costs) from start-to-finish is $25,000, including a two-year associate degree from GTC,” Byrd said. “That’s without any lottery money, grants, (or) tuition reimbursement. That’s what really puts the icing on the cake. It’s going to allow an individual to get a great return on their investment. We are providing a lot of hands-on skills. Students will be able to apply what they learn in the lab setting as well as what they are learning in the classroom.”