Rose State College Announces Collaborative Robotic Training Program for Statewide Manufacturing Jobs Published August 29, 2019

automation forumRose State College announces it will start training Oklahoma manufacturers in collaborative robotics in a statewide workforce training effort. 

Developed with input from local manufacturers, the program will train individuals to operate, train and integrate a collaborative robot into a manufacturing setting. These are skill sets which can be applied to the aerospace, automotive, electronic, consumer products and the medical device industries to name a few applications. 

The announcement came during an Automation Forum at Rose State on Wednesday, August 28th, where nearly one-hundred economic developers and manufacturers from all corners of the state gathered to learn about the collaborative robotic technology. 

“It’s imperative that small and medium-sized manufacturers are exposed to the potential offered through collaborative robots,” said Dave Rowland, president of the Manufacturing Alliance. “It is even more important these manufacturers are provided appropriate technical assistance and training. This innovative partnership with Rose State College is critical in helping to alleviate the fundamental shortage of skilled labor – a problem that continues to plague Oklahoma industry.” 

Collaborative robotics or Cobots, as they are referenced in the industry, are smaller versions of the industrial robot. Cobots can be implemented in as small a space as a table top and are created to work side-by-side with human co-workers. The Cobots are designed to handle repetitive tasks or tasks too difficult or dangerous for humans. It’s estimated the return on investment for manufacturers using Cobots is 195 days from the start of implementation.

 “The forum and Rose State’s Cobot training are designed to provide valuable insight into what this technology can do for manufacturers in all types of industry,” stated Tamara Pratt, Vice President of External Affairs and Workforce Development at Rose State College. “We’re proud to be able to jump out into a new area and start the dialogue with a solution we believe can be a game-changer for some of Oklahoma’s workforce needs.” 

Rose State’s pilot program will begin in October with a 16-hour training offering. The training will include how Cobots impact machine learning, data analytics, supply chain management and the big picture of manufacturing integration. Training will be delivered at Rose State in the Professional Training Center. 

The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance has cited data which suggests within the next five years nearly 20,000 manufacturing jobs in Oklahoma will go unfilled. It’s anticipated collaborative robotics can provide support for those positions enabling existing employees to be upskilled to other jobs. 

The Automation Forum was presented by Rose State College, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.