Monday, August 22, 2011

Skilled Technicians in High Demand


Industries are seeking skilled maintenance technicians for today’s high-tech manufacturing environment. LBCC’s Mechatronics/Industrial Maintenance Technician Program provides the training that can help you land a good job
Although the economy is still recovering and jobs are hard to find, one sector shows signs of shortages in skilled workers: maintenance technicians who troubleshoot and repair complex industrial systems.

As many older workers in these occupations head into retirement, the companies they work for are realizing the need for a younger, skilled workforce to take their place, which opens the door for high school students or those already in the workforce to learn a good trade.

What is a Mechatronics/Industrial Maintenance technician? Mechatronics technicians can be best described as a cross between a millwright with mechanical skills, an industrial electrician with troubleshooting expertise, and a computer programmer proficient in programming and operating automated equipment including industrial robots and commercial heating and cooling systems.

Computers and robotics run much of the equipment in today’s manufacturing facilities, and maintenance technicians need to know not only the mechanics of the equipment but also how to program industrial computers and use analytical thinking skills. And technicians still need to know how to clean and grease parts, tighten belts, replace worn-out parts and put equipment back together.

The Mechatronics program provides students with the opportunity to learn skills which can lead to jobs in the clean energy sector–such as solar and wind energy–or in fields such as agriculture and food processing, forest products, computer manufacturing, health care and educational facilities, petroleum, mining, aerospace, defense and telecommunications. With grants from the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture, the college continues to work to expand the program.

“In addition to our full-time, two-year program, we are currently developing a one-year certificate in Mechatronics–which covers the first year of the program–with the idea that high school students and people already in the workforce will be able to take classes on a part-time basis,” said Mechatronics faculty and program advisor Denis Green. “Several high school students are already enrolled in Mechatronics, virtually for free, through the LBCC College Now program.”

The college also is developing a 14-credit Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning, or RHVAC, certificate that will include on-line and hands-on training. “The NSF and USDA grants are helping us to expand and upgrade blended learning classes that include pod casts that are tied to the textbook and visuals like web-based slide shows and hands-on labs,” said Denis.

The grants also provided funding for the program to purchase bio-diesel trainers, solar wind trainers, drive system trainers and thermo-graphic scanners that will be used to teach about alternative energy and energy efficiency.
These trainers are in addition to the program’s state-of-the-art Mechatronics lab, which features industry standard equipment including drive systems, bearings, vibration analysis, robotics, motor controls, programmable logic controls, heating and cooling equipment, hydraulics and pneumatics equipment and sensors.

The program’s focus is on promoting energy efficiency as well as troubleshooting, maintenance and repair of industrial production and other commercial systems.
The Mechatronics/Industrial Maintenance Program offers several areas of focus including: industrial management; machining; welding; industrial refrigeration; and biofuel.

Students who successfully complete the two-year Associate of Applied Science in Mechatronics Technician/Industrial Maintenance degree will learn to:

  • Troubleshoot, maintain and repair mechanical and electrical systems.
  • Analyze schematics
  • Locate and analyze technical data
  • Assist in design and rebuilding projects
  • Manage career education and workplace learning
  • Communicate effectively in writing and verbally with workers and customers
  • Apply mathematics and scientific principles to troubleshooting, maintenance, and repair situations
  • Promote energy efficiency and industrial sustainability
  • Practice a high level of craftsmanship


Journey-level jobs include:

  • Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics
  • Industrial Engineering Technologists
  • Millwrights
  • Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers


Entry-level jobs include:

  • Helpers-Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Workers
  • General Maintenance and Repair Workers
  • Machinery Maintenance Workers
  • Helpers-Production Workers
  • Helpers-Electricians
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers


For more information, visit the LBCC Mechatronics/Industrial Maintenance Technician Program web site at www.linnbenton.edu/go/mechatronics, or contact program advisor Denis Green at 541-917-4942, greend@linnbenton.edu, or Dave Mack at 541-917-4635, mackd@linnbenton.edu

2 comments:

  1. ya, i agree with your post as well as valuable post.

    thanks!!
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  2. Thanks for sharing! This page was very informative and I enjoyed it. Manufacturing Maintenance jobs

    ReplyDelete