Festo Didactic recently provided SkillsUSA Championship Competition participants (Mechatronics Section) with advanced training technology at the 2023 National Leadership and Skills Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center and State Farm Arena, Atlanta.
Festo Didactic, in collaboration with certification organization NC3 and its industry partners Snap-On, Lincoln Electric, 3M, Ridgid, and Greenlee, also utilized shared space in the exhibit hall to demonstrate the latest solutions in mechatronics and technical training.
Festo has been a WorldSkills Global Industry Partner since 1991, providing state-of-the-art learning systems for SkillsUSA and WorldSkills competitions across the globe. Festo Didactic is a lead sponsor of Mechatronics and Water Technology skills competition and a co-sponsor of the Industrial Control and Industrial Mechanics competitions. Festo Didactic championed Industry 4.0 inclusion in WorldSkills competitions, which is now recognized as an official competition-based skill and supplies training systems for the new Renewable Energy skills competition which saw its inaugural event in 2022.
The SkillsUSA Nationals competition consists of various tasks from a list of standards and competencies identified as vital to industry by the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Committee. The competition involves written, oral, and physical challenges, including troubleshooting and construction of mechatronic devices.
In timed events, teams of two competitors are challenged to accurately and neatly perform system troubleshooting and repair of a faulty machine. In this competitive event, general disciplinary knowledge of the individual technologies and interactions in an integrated system are evaluated by a panel of industry professionals. The panel strives to accurately assess competitors’ knowledge of the various aspects of mechatronics technology, including mechanics, industrial electricity, fluid power, and programmable controllers.
As a primary sponsor of the annual SkillsUSA Mechatronics Competition, Festo Didactic supplies advanced training equipment, including the Modular Production System (MPS), the Portable Fluid Power system, the introduction to mechatronics MecLab, Basic Motor Technology, and Electricity Trainers. These learning systems closely mimic industry tasks by utilizing the latest technology incorporated into electrical, pneumatic, control systems, and process automation training modules. The equipment at SkillsUSA in Atlanta supports more than 60 high school and college students.
“Seeing the SkillsUSA students showcase their abilities with such passion and drive is inspiring,” said Alyssa Russo, who serves as the SkillsUSA Mechatronics Technical Committee Chair and is a Festo Didactic Technical Support Engineer. “The students exemplify the people that employers are seeking for future Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) roles requiring technical education, training, and skills. I believe the entire Festo Didactic team agrees that days like those at SkillsUSA make our work incredibly rewarding.”
Octavio Rojas, sales director for Festo Didactic North America, added, “Returning to SkillsUSA and witnessing the bond among students, parents, and educators during these exciting events is exhilarating. Supporting SkillsUSA Mechatronics competition is an honor that we eagerly anticipate each year.”