GRCC unveils new mechatronics equipment



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


Nov. 7, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Grand Rapids Community College is showing off its new mechatronics equipment to local employers on Nov. 13.

The rapidly growing mechatronics field integrates electronics, mechanics, pneumatics, programmable logic controllers and computer control systems to create and improve automated manufacturing production systems. Students will get hands-on experience with this new equipment, which includes PLCs, microprocessors, control devices, motors, generators and transformers. The equipment was funded by a grant from the Department of Labor.

“This is our first mechatronics system,” said Roger Kelley, an assistant professor of electricity/electronics at GRCC. "This new equipment will allow us to bring curriculum from five other courses into a single course to help enforce a ‘system’ versus ‘components’ approach with students. GRCC’s new Mechatronics/Controls capstone course will prepare students to be able to analyze the details of controls and relate the details to a complete manufacturing system.”

People with mechatronics experience and an associate degree in mechatronics/controls find work as industrial, maintenance and controls technicians, among other positions. The average pay is about $23 an hour or $46,000 a year in the field, which is currently experiencing a talent shortage.

About 25 to 30 local employers will be updated on curriculum changes, tour the lab and watch demonstrations during the mechatronics showcase’s two sessions: 7:30-9 a.m. or 4:30-6 p.m. Nov. 13 in rooms 122-124 of the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE. The event includes breakfast or hors d’oeuvres, depending on the session, and parking is free in the Bostwick ramp. To register for the showcase, click here.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.