Engineering director on new MCCTC robotics lab: ‘It is very key’

The ribbon cutting for the RAMTEC lab comes a year after the school was awarded a $500,000 state grant

Doctor Richard Hassler on Thursday debuted the FANUC 200 Series robot -- part of the new RAMTEC lab for high school students at Canfield's Mahoning County Career and Technical Center.

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Doctor Richard Hassler on Thursday debuted the FANUC 200 Series robot — part of the new RAMTEC lab for high school students at Canfield’s Mahoning County Career and Technical Center.

“Where they learn how the robot is positioned, the names of the joints and how to do the programs that can do repetitive cycles,” Hassler said of the RAMTEC lab.

The ribbon cutting for the RAMTEC lab comes a year after the school was awarded a $500,000 state grant — making it the 10th vocational school in Ohio to get a robotics lab.

Superintendent Ron Iarussi first learned about it two years during a visit to Marion.

“He said it has a lot to do with robotics, advanced manufacturing and it’s kind of a new wave of programs that career and technical centers should get involved in,” Iarussi said.

Also at Thursday’s event were representatives of General Motors — one of whom was Jim Heist, the director of engineering at Lordstown.

“This is an investment in your students and in their love of stem,” Heist said. “It is very key, as you are going to be the future leaders in manufacturing.”

It was after all the formalities that Dr. Hassler showed how the FANUC robot worked, moving it around for everyone to see.

The lab also has simulation software, which students can use before moving onto the real thing.

“We’re focusing on the material and tool-handling end,” Hassler said.

But not maintenance. There are more advanced schools for that.

Still, when finished, students will have five certifications from four different companies.

“We were in here a couple of weeks ago, jogging the arm around, picking up blocks and stacking them,” MCCTC student Wesley Gilbert said. “And it was very cool.”

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