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Robotics Training Brings Novelis, ABB Robotics and CiTi Together

Novelis, ABB Robotics and the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation are working together to benefit students, employees and our community through robotics training.

Hunter Ouderkirk, Career and Technical Education student at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation, observes the ABB Robotics Training for Novelis employees on the Mexico CiTi campus.
Hunter Ouderkirk, Career and Technical Education student at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation, observes the ABB Robotics Training for Novelis employees on the Mexico CiTi campus.

According to its website, “ABB is a leading supplier of industrial robots, modular manufacturing systems and service.” The company has installed more than 250,000 robots worldwide.

Novelis is introducing these manufacturing robots into its hot mill manufacturing process. The robotic arms will perform various machine functions, such as marking rolls of aluminum accordingly.

Forty employees from Novelis will attend a training provided by an ABB Robotics employee to learn how the machines work.

With no feasible or adequate location to host the robotics training, Novelis plant manager and hot mill project engineer John Piscitelli turned to CiTi.

After much discussion and planning with new CiTi Career and Technical Education Business Liaison Garrette Weiss, the robotics machines from ABB were installed in a section of Joseph Hawksby’s Advanced Metal Manufacturing classroom on the Mexico CiTi campus.

This partnership opens up doors of mutual reward for all parties involved: CiTi students will be able to sit in on the training as it is taking place and learn from the experience.

“One of the main selling points to our students is making connections between the classroom and life,” said Career and Technical Education Principal Marla Berlin. “A lot of our students know people who work at Novelis. This will show our students that you don’t finish learning when you graduate; we are lifelong learners. To see and practice what adults in the workforce are doing opens their eyes to career opportunities and encourages them to learn and apply themselves.”

This initiative is just one example of the direction the newly rebranded CiTi is taking: actively partnering with local businesses to provide opportunities for students and the business community. “We want to train locally and maintain locally,” said Weiss.

Weiss’ position was recently created at CiTi specifically to work with local industries in providing applicable, real-life, hands-on education to CiTi students.

“This is a wonderful collaboration and beneficial for everyone involved,” said Novelis Plant Manager Chris Smith. “The alternative was to send our employees away for training; it makes much more sense to keep the training local while also opening doors for students in our community.”

Wayne Wideman, director of Facilities in Operations and Maintenance at CiTi, was instrumental in getting this project off the ground in terms of the construction and machinery placement on the Mexico CiTi campus.

All parties involved said they are excited to see the rewards that will blossom from this partnership.