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Industry 4.0 Lab Leads TMCC into the Future

Alli Williams
Photo of Industry 4.0 Ribbon Cutting Event

NSHE Vice Chancellor Nate McKinnon, Festo Didactic District Sales Manager Ken Caldwell, TMCC Dean of Technical Sciences Kyle Dalpe, and TMCC President Karin Hilgersom in the Industry 4.0 Lab.

Truckee Meadows Community College celebrated the launch of the Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Lab last month at the TMCC William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center. The launch included speakers from TMCC, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Tesla, and Festo Didactic, Inc., with a ribbon cutting and demonstration of the new cyber-physical factory equipment.

“This is truly an amazing program,” said TMCC President Dr. Karin Hilgersom. “The Industry 4.0 Lab is a glimpse into the future of advanced manufacturing, and we all get to be part of it.”

The ceremony was kicked off with a look into the future of advanced manufacturing, and how this lab will meet the needs of current and future students at TMCC.

“As a community college, we are very responsive to everything going on in our economic environment,” said Dr. J. Kyle Dalpe, Dean of Technical Sciences. “We’re trying to build programs that will prepare students for jobs, and the reality is that most of those jobs don’t even exist yet.”

The new robotic equipment in the lab is made by Festo Didactic Inc., and is a replica of what companies in our region, like Tesla, are using in their factories. TMCC is home to the only Festo cyber-physical manufacturing training program in the Western United States, and is only the fifth lab like its kind in the country.

Chris Reilly, Workforce Development and Education Programs Coordinator at Tesla, is excited to be partnered with TMCC to gain skilled employees at the nearby Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, and continue building Nevada into a hub for technological advancement.

“What TMCC has built will have a tangible effect on increasing Nevada’s confidence in new fields in automation and robotics,” Reilly said.

TMCC will be integrating the new equipment into existing Certificate and Associate Degree programs and is currently exploring a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Cyber-Physical Manufacturing, which is planned for Fall 2019. The College is currently training students for a variety of careers for the region’s growing Advanced Manufacturing sector.

This project was funded in part by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) through the Workforce Innovations for the New Nevada (WINN) grant and the College.

For more information about the Industry 4.0 Lab, please contact TMCC’s Applied Technologies Department at 775-856-5300.