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Advanced Manufacturing Processes and Systems @ RPI

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the first University to include MTConnect within the graduate level engineering curriculum. The new Advanced Manufacturing Processes and Systems (AMPS) class is part of the Manufacturing Innovation Learning lab (MILL) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy NY).  AMPS allows students the opportunity to gain valuable engineering skills in the area of advanced manufacturing  theories and processes.  Topic areas of study include; composites, additive manufacturing, open communication standards for manufacturing (MTConnect), micromachining, and high speed machining.  The class will involve industry experts to advise on content and assist with learning module development and delivery.  This academic program will be part of the School of Engineering graduate level Manufacturing Certificate Program.

This innovative AMPS class in the MILL reflects changes in the engineering field and in the marketplace defining a need for advanced skill-sets within the industry.  Industry is looking for future leaders who are versed in time-tested manufacturing techniques, yet experienced and fluent in leading-edge manufacturing technologies.  These requirements are further validated by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) reports discussing advanced manufacturing technologies.  PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President. PCAST makes policy recommendations in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to strengthening our economy and forming policy that works for the American people.  Information related to these reposts can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/library/docsreports.

Prior to the classes starting there were a number of challenges which would require industry companies to be involved. One particular challenge had to be met before the classes even started, implementing MTConnect on a machine at RPI. MacKintok and RPI reached out to TechSolve, a Cincinnati-based company who was more than ready to volunteer their services. The efforts of TechSolve laid the groundwork for both classes to be a success. With the MTConnect protocol implemented, RPI was looking for companies who developed MTConnect applications and companies who were end users. Along with MacKintok and Hamilton Numbers, MTConnect participating companies US Army Benet Laboratories and Real Time Development volunteered their time to lecture to the students about the history of MTConnect and how it is utilized in the factory.

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