Funded through Kentucky’s Work Ready Skills Initiative, Owensboro Community & Technical College expanded its downtown location for students seeking advanced manufacturing and training. This program encourages more students to learn skilled trades to strengthen the existing workforce throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The new state-of-the-art Innovation Lab features a Festo Cyber-Physical (CP) Smart Factory simulator and an Advanced Manufacturing System Simulator, which both allow students access to training simulation only found in an operational factory. The Innovation Lab utilizes material-handling robots with infrared vision capable of robotic training and simulated robotic welding. Hafer replaced the existing electrical distribution system and provided power and communications infrastructure to support the new manufacturing equipment, along with audio-visual equipment interfaced with the equipment for enhanced student learning. Mechanically, new terminal air units were designed to serve an office and classroom within the Innovation Lab that tie into the existing building management system. The existing split system furnace / condensing unit was replaced with a 6 Ton split system condensing unit and matching duct-mounted cooling coil in the existing heating / ventilating unit ductwork. This also tied into the building management system. A new 25 HP rotary screw air compressor was specified and installed to serve the simulators and the rest of the building.
With this new program, the goal is to encourage more students to enter a skilled trade, which will create a better workforce throughout the state and encourage future employers to start businesses in Kentucky. Students are now enrolled and learning trades in welding, robotics and manufacturing.