National Science Foundation Awards Grant for Automatic Manufacturing

Bessemer, Ala., -- Lawson State Community College received a two-year National Science Foundation Grant to equip an automated manufacturing lab and develop industrial systems maintenance curriculum.

The new lab contains a modular production line designed for high-tech training utilizing practical, real-world programs.  The system provides the perfect platform for analyzing and troubleshooting the interaction between mechanical, pneumatic, electrical, control, and communications.

The production line can reproduce most tasks found in today's complex manufacturing.  In addition to the production line, the college equipped a 15 station real-time simulation lab to enhance hands-on experiences.

The same control hardware for the simulators is used on the production line and taught on high resolution graphics terminals and maintenance package computers.   The lab is housed on the Bessemer campus in the Millsap Industrial Training Center.  It combines appropriate manufacturing and engineering related curriculum with a Modular Production System, by FESTO, to create real-time learning.

Over the next six years production occupations in Alabama will swell to 228,520 with a projected 4,565 job openings each year (Alabama Department of Industrial Relations).

Information provided by Lawson State Community College