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Taking the lead in tech

SAIT becomes a training hub for Swiss robotics giant

SAIT becomes a training hub for Swiss robotics giant

We're poised to become a Western Canadian leader in robotics training.

SAIT and automation powerhouse ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB) recently signed a memorandum of understanding - officially announced Wednesday, Oct. 10 - naming SAIT as the Alberta training provider for ABB robot operator and programmer courses.

"This is a great example of how SAIT is partnering with industry to equip workers with advanced skills so they can be successful in an ever-advancing manufacturing sector," says Jim Szautner, Dean, School of Transportation and School of Manufacturing and Automation.

Based in Switzerland, ABB is a global leader in the areas of robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment and automation technology.

"Being able to bring this technology to students shows ABB's commitment to education, the advancement of automation and the preparation of a highly skilled workforce," says Brent Matthews, Business Unit Manager, ABB.

"We're excited to partner with SAIT because of the investment from the faculty, institution and province."

Everyone wins

The pairing is a natural fit, says Christopher Dick, Instructor, School of Manufacturing and Automation.

"We've had a relationship with ABB for many years. They're finding that more and more of their customers are from Western Canada, so they're looking to us to offer this training," he says.

In June, Dick travelled to Brampton, ON to a course focused on how to program a robot arm using a teach pendant - a handheld device with a screen and a joystick.

In the past, anyone looking to take ABB's level one training would need to also travel to Brampton, says Dick. By partnering with SAIT, ABB can now cover Western Canada through SAIT's Corporate Training.

"Now that we've done the training, we're certified to provide that to others," he says. "As far as the level one training goes, we're the first in Western Canada to offer it."

Although ABB has a facility in Calgary, they do not have any training robots there. Meanwhile, SAIT has four ABB robot arms, along with instructors certified to teach people how to use them.

"ABB doesn't have to invest in setting up new training robots and a facility - and it's a good revenue stream for us," says Dick. "This is a win-win situation."


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