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November 2013 Tech Bytes

Industry News

U.S. Manufacturing in Position to Regain Millions of Jobs by 2020

Lower domestic energy prices, along with economic uncertainty in other key global manufacturing regions like China and Europe have played a pivotal role in influencing long term manufacturing growth for America.

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The Art of Industrial Painting with Robots

They might not be the next Van Gogh, by any means, but industrial painting robots are nothing to brush off. Gone are the days when robotic painting was reserved for only large OEMs with deep pockets. Like all robotics technology, paint robots have become more viable for top-tier supplier bases in the automotive and transportation industries. They’re also gaining ground in smaller, general industrial applications, where apprentices are poised to explore the tried-and-true methods of early adopters.  
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Bringing Manufacturing Back To The U.S. Via The Robot

A robot named Baxter is operating on the assembly line of Rodon, a plastics manufacturer in Pennsylvania. Rodon's VP says the technology is reducing costs and increasing productivity, but doesn't replace human workers who he says are needed to maintain the equipment

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 Education

Conventional college route shifts to “education buffet”

...new type of college student, one who doesn’t start and finish at a single brick-and-mortar campus, but picks and chooses credits toward a degree or job from a veritable buffet of education options. These include dual-enrolment courses—college-level courses offered to students while they’re still in high school—advanced-placement programs, military or corporate training, career and life experience, and classes taught online.

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 GBC Programs

How to Determine Which PLC Program is Right for You

George Brown College now offers two PLC programs; PLC Technician and PLC Technician II. Both programs provide a complete technical introduction to PLCs, while providing the practical knowledge and skills that are needed to take to work and apply right away.

The main difference between our two programs is the type of PLC simulator that is used for the lab and theory parts of the course material. The PLC Technician program uses a simulator based on the RSLogix 500 simulator. The PLC Technician II program is based on the more complex tag-based RSLogix 5000 PLC software.

We recommend taking the first PLC program if you have no background in PLCs, but the first program is not a prerequisite for PLC II. PLC II can be completed without taking the first PLC program. However, PLC II is more challenging to learn since it uses tag-based addressing versus traditional IO addressing found in most other PLCs.

The first PLC program covers PLCs such as Allen-Bradley SLC 500 and Rockwell RSLogix 500. These PLCs have a larger number of companies using them than the RSLogix 5000 PLC. The RSLogix 5000 PLC uses tag-based addressing and is gradually replacing older systems due to its flexibility, power, and unique capabilities. To really understand PLCs you should know about both methods of I/O addressing; traditional and tag-based, since both are very popular in industry.

Student success story

Name: Nancy Vienneau
Program
Electronics Technician Certificate

Student Success Story - Nancy VienneauNancy Vienneau recently completed the Electronics Technician Certificate program with George Brown College. Nancy enrolled in our program to help further develop her career prospects; electronics training is a requirement for a new position she is seeking within the federal government.

Nancy enjoyed the Electronics program while at the same time, found it very challenging. “The Q & A on the Online Discussion Forums really helped me to clear up anything I did not understand about the content. And the circuit simulation software was extremely helpful in applying and reinforcing the theory.“

 The flexibility of the program allowed Nancy to complete the program while she worked at two jobs. In the process Nancy reports learning more about herself, discovering she possessed “a lot of self-motivation to work through this challenging program.”