There is a need to make sure that the Next Gen manufacturing workforce is trained and educated with the most up-to-date digital tools and is comfortable working in the current Industry 4.0 environment. Companies need to recognize that to recruit new talent, they must start digitally transforming to attract the best recruits and have the capability to train and get their workforce quickly trained with the most efficient tools and allow existing workers the ability to handle more complex work.
Harper College is one of the nation’s largest premier community colleges serving more than 35,000 students annually in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. The College’s academic programs prepare students for rewarding careers and for transfer to four-year universities.
The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA) partnered with Harper College on a $1.5 million, 6,000 square-foot facility designed to create skilled workers for area manufacturers and related businesses. The FMA Metal Fabrication Lab doubled the size of Harper’s current manufacturing lab and supports Harper’s Advanced Manufacturing Program, which trains students for high-tech manufacturing careers in mechatronics/automation, precision machining, metal fabrication and supply chain management/logistics. The program offers industry-endorsed skills certificates and paid internships with 75 local manufacturers. The facility will train up to 600 students annually and will house state of the art equipment such as lasers, turrets, press brakes, and robotic welders.
Harper College understands that even though its students are trained and learning to use various types of machinery, the students are often inexperienced and need information at their disposal. They often have questions for teachers prior to using machinery. Harper also prioritizes keeping its students safe and ensuring they follow all safety procedures prior to using machinery. The leadership team knew it needed a simple solution that could be implemented easily and quickly.
Harper placed Notiphy tablets at multiple machine workstations and uploaded safety and machine-use processes into Notiphy’s flexible Process Management Platform using the Task List application. Harper also uploaded pictures and content into the Task Details of each Task List. Furthermore, the school uses Notiphy to provide messages to students and allows students to “Notiphy” an instructor if they need assistance, so they don’t have to leave their areas. Finally, instructors use Notiphy’s digital tablets with uploaded processes to train students.
Putting processes, information and the ability to communicate in front of the students and making them accountable to review information has made them safer, helped ensure the students would follow and understand the processes and has allowed instructors to be involved with a greater number of students. Students and instructors say they feel much more empowered with Notiphy and Harper is looking to roll out Notiphy to more workstations. Instructors surveyed have stated that they believe the students are not only safer, but also more efficient and have a better understanding of how to use the machines.
"Instructors surveyed have stated that they believe the students are not only safer, but also more efficient and have a better understanding of how to use the machines."