Southern Crescent Technical College

ALPLA Donates Robot to Industrial Systems Program

Pictured L-R: Lemuel Mercado, Dean for Industrial Programs, Southern Crescent Technical College; Dr. Steve Pearce, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Southern Crescent Technical College; Matthew Hughes, NOAM Task Force Specialist, ALPLA.; Mark Dunning, Director of Human Resources, ALPLA; Johnny Dodson, Program Coordinator for Industrial Systems Technology, Southern Crescent Technical College; Trenton Terrell, Industrial Systems Technology Instructor, Southern Crescent Technical College
Pictured L-R: Lemuel Mercado, Dean for Industrial Programs, Southern Crescent Technical College; Dr. Steve Pearce, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Southern Crescent Technical College; Matthew Hughes, NOAM Task Force Specialist, ALPLA.; Mark Dunning, Director of Human Resources, ALPLA; Johnny Dodson, Program Coordinator for Industrial Systems Technology, Southern Crescent Technical College; Trenton Terrell, Industrial Systems Technology Instructor, Southern Crescent Technical College

Students in the Industrial Systems Technology program at Southern Crescent Technical College (SCTC) just got a little more tech-savvy thanks to a recent donation of a Sawyer Robot from ALPLA, Inc. in McDonough.

A Sawyer robot is a uniquely designed robot that can be used to execute tasks that would not be practical for traditional industrial robots. Sawyer is a high-performance robot that is also highly flexible, easy to use and includes many safety features. Sawyer features a 7 degree of freedom robot arm with a 1260 mm reach that maneuvers into tight spaces and operates in work cells designed for humans. Built-in force sensing capabilities allow it to make adaptive decisions as tasks run, enabling Sawyer to work precisely, while operating safely next to people. With his friendly design Sawyer is highly accepted by his human co-workers, which accelerates the introduction of automated solutions.

According to Johnny Dodson, Program Coordinator for the Industrial Systems Technology Program at SCTC, students in the program learn the fundamental applications of manufacturing automation and robotics. With the Sawyer Robot, they will be able to learn how to setup, operate, and generate specific tasks and routines for the robot to perform. In addition, students will be able to obtain a working knowledge of robotics and will become capable of being employed in the advancing field of Robotics and Automation.

ALPLA is a world leader in the development and production of plastic packaging solutions, producing innovative packaging systems, bottles, closures and injection-moulded parts for a wide range of industries.

Mark Dunning, Director of Human Resources at ALPLA stated, “ALPLA and Southern Crescent Technical College have a great working relationship. Like many companies, ALPLA seeks continuous improvement in every corner of its business. We routinely investigate automation methods and after evaluating the Sawyer robot, we selected another type of equipment which more closely matched our needs.  Southern Crescent Technical College is the closest and most capable technical training facility for our US headquarters in McDonough, and several employees have been trained at SCTC, so it was a natural choice for us to approach the College about their interest in a donation.”

Dunning continued by stating, “We always hope that students can be trained and prepared for good-paying jobs in increasingly automated manufacturing operations, right here in Georgia.  ALPLA relies on the best and the brightest technical graduates at all of its 17 US locations along with another 161 around the world in 45 countries. Team members with the best automation, electrical, and mechanical skills become our biggest contributors, every time.”

Johnny Dodson, Program Coordinator for the Industrial Systems Technology Program stated, “Thanks to this generous donation from ALPLA, SCTC Industrial Systems Technology students will be afforded additional hands-on training and will be able to excel in the fast-paced world of automation in today’s successful manufacturing and industrial companies. We hope that our students are able to carry the knowledge learned at SCTC as they become employed both in our service area and around the world.”