OAKVILLE, Ontario — Seneca College and Siemens Canada are helping Canadian manufacturing take a positive step in addressing the technical skills gap with the opening of Ontario’s first Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre (MSDC), officially launched on February 12th.
Seneca transformed an existing lab facility to serve as the training ground for students to pursue the Siemens Mechatronics Systems certification program, a pillar of the Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy (SCETA) established in 2015.
The opening of the MSDC builds on the partnership established between Seneca and Siemens Canada in February 2015 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding focused on program development, research and teaching in the field of Mechatronics. An Ontario government announcement of $651,000 in funding followed in April 2015 as part of the provincial budget to help Ontario compete and win opportunities for advanced manufacturing facilities. This funding allowed Seneca to invest in state-of-the-art equipment and curriculum development for the centre.
Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical, electrical and computer technologies as well as control and systems theory into a single system used in production and manufacturing. In practical terms, Mechatronics raises the bar for Industry 4.0 by offering a holistic, hands-on approach to automation that can improve efficiency, productivity and quality and ultimately decrease time to market.
Industries that benefit greatly from a Mechatronics system include aerospace, materials processing, machine building, automotive, transportation, building technologies and mining.
As of this semester, Mechatronics certification courses, designed to be integrated into the existing curriculum, will be offered to Seneca students in two levels. Each level is based on a job profile — a comprehensive description of the tasks that the certified individual should be able to perform. Job profiles are developed by Siemens in collaboration with other industry and public sector partners, and help to define the levels, either Assistant or Associate.
Siemens is the only global industrial company to offer the internationally recognized Mechatronics certification program in cooperation with partner colleges and universities throughout North America, Asia and Africa. Seneca is one of the first Canadian colleges to join an international network of advanced technology partners in education and industry working with Siemens by delivering the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program through the Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy in Canada.
Mechatronics Systems certified graduates learn how to work with new technologies with a focus on understanding, troubleshooting and problem-solving. These skills help develop graduates who are flexible, autonomous and professional in navigating today’s complex systems.
“Siemens is a global leader in advanced manufacturing and industry, and it’s an honor to partner with them to open Seneca’s Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre. Our thanks go as well to the Government of Ontario for its investment in this sophisticated teaching and learning environment. Together, we are helping provide Ontario with the highly skilled graduates we need to continue to thrive in the complex and sophisticated world of advanced manufacturing.”
– David Agnew, President, Seneca College
“Today’s manufacturing systems are becoming ever more complex and digitalized, and there is a growing need for qualified individuals with the knowledge required to design, operate and maintain them. We have an amazing partner in Seneca and together we are delighted to open the Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre as a showcase, offering students an applied learning environment and ultimately, an engineering certification that will help prepare them for success in Canada’s top industries.”
– Robert Hardt, President & CEO, Siemens Canada Limited
“Our government is proud to support Seneca’s new Mechatronics Centre, the first of its kind in Ontario. This innovative facility will provide students with the expertise to compete for jobs in Ontario’s evolving manufacturing sector, and in turn, will help industry partners find the skilled employees they need to grow their businesses.”
– Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
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