February 28, 2022

Mechatronics Program Retooled to Better Serve Students


They can earn certifications to advance their careers

To help better serve students and prepare them for an increasingly competitive job market, Schoolcraft College has comprehensively revamped its Mechatronics program. 

Mechatronics describes the relationship between mechanical machines regulated by electrical control systems. It also encompasses computer engineering, systems engineering and programming.

Students using equipment
The Motor Control workstation teaches electric machines commonly found in industrial, commercial, and residential applications: single-phase AC motors, three-phase AC electric motors, and DC electric motors.

Starting with the Winter 2022 semester, the program will be known as Mechatronics Technology to reflect the increased hands-on classes and alignment with important industry standards. 

“We’ve retooled our new Mechatronics Technology program to better help our students master an array of equipment in a variety of industries,” said Amy Jones, Associate Dean of Occupational Programs, Engineering & Technology. “Also, students will have the opportunity to earn important industry certifications.”

New Robotics course

Leading the new course offerings is ROBAT101, Robot Tool Handling Operations and Programming. It serves as an applied introduction to HandlingTool™ software with an emphasis on safety, setup, recording and troubleshooting. It also includes basic applications of the HandlingTool™ software, including terminology, testing and refining the program. Further, robotic operations and hands-on application are covered to simulate and run robotic programs.

Computer and machinery board
The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a computer that monitors inputs and outputs and makes logic-based decisions for automated processes or machines.

A key benefit in taking this course is that it is aligned to both Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA) and FANUC* standards.

“Earning these industry certifications can help students advance in their careers,” Jones said. “Schoolcraft College students can take the exams at no extra charge. Because we are now a SACA-certified location, we also can offer training to industry professionals to earn these certifications.”

What’s taught and where you can apply those skills

Schoolcraft College’s Mechatronics Technology program focuses on the integration of mechanical, electrical (electronics), fluid power (hydraulics or pneumatics) and computer technologies to control machine movements. The students’ studies begin with courses in mechanics, sensors, basic electronics, pneumatics, control logic and robot programming and control.

Machinery equipment
The Mechatronics trainer is a component-based system that prepares learners for mechatronics operation, hands-on PLC programming, and industrial maintenance and problem solving for real-world manufacturing environments.

The program is not directly aimed at specific products. With the multiplicity of equipment presently in use, and the rapid advance and change in technology, the department stresses the development of a broad background that will enable students to find employment and be able to further their skills in a diversified number of industries, including:

  • Aerospace 
  • Energy
  • Equipment manufacturing (including computers) 
  • Plastics

According to federal government data, the average median salary for a person skilled in mechatronics technology is $60,000.

Credentials and degrees

The College offers a Skills Certificate (18 credits), a Certificate (35 credits) and an Associate in Applied Science degree (62-68 credits) in Mechatronics Technology.

Read further information on Schoolcraft College’s Mechatronics Technology program.

*FANUC is a Japanese company with American headquarters in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It is a leading supplier of robots, CNC systems and factory automation.  

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