Dr. David Florkowski, Dean of Trades and Technology at KPU, looks at one the university’s new programmable logic controller (PLC) trainers, currently in the KPU Tech think tank where professors are writing codes and assignments for the future Mechatronics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology program. (Samantha Anderson)

Cloverdale’s KPU Tech campus receives $500,000 to fund trades, tech equipment

Kwantlen Polytechnic University one of 15 post-secondary institutions to receive provincial funding

Kwantlen Polytechnic University will receive $500,000 from the provincial government to provide training equipment for its trades and tech students.

In a Tuesday announcement, B.C. Premier John Horgan revealed the province is investing more than $5.4 million in trades and tech equipment at 15 post-secondary schools across B.C.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) was one of four post-secondary institutions to receive funding in the Lower Mainland. The vast majority of the $500,000 allotted to KPU will be spent at its Cloverdale Tech campus, as that is where most of the university’s trades training takes place.

Dr. David Florkowski, Dean of Trades and Technology at KPU, said that the funding will be spread evenly amongst the university’s trades programs, to both update aging equipment and fund new technology.

The $500,000 will address “a lot of our high needs,” he said, including purchasing new automotive lifts and funding power distribution demonstration labs that tie into KPU’s geothermal and solar training programs.

“The new equipment should put our students at industry standards, if not higher,” said Florkowski.

Future programs benefit as well

As well as upgrading and providing equipment to existing programs, the funds will also go towards KPU Tech’s future Mechatronics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology (MAMT) program. The MAMT program has been in the works for about 18 months, according to Florkowski, and KPU hopes to launch it this fall.

As Florkowski explained it, “Mechatronics is actually a blend of two fields. It’s mechanics, so the movement of machines, and electronics, so the idea that you can control the machine.”

The blend of mechanical and electrical training required for the MAMT program is becoming more typical for trades workers. “That’s where technology is going,” said Florkowski. “It’s hard to be around equipment and only be an expert in one aspect of that equipment.”

The MAMT program will be a two year diploma. During the first year, students will earn level one and level two certifications to work on machines made by Siemens, one of the world’s largest high-tech manufacturers.

By the end of the first year, Florkowski said, the MAMT students will be able to program and troubleshoot Siemens machines. The second year of the program will focus on giving the students a mix of electrical, millwright and welding training so that the students will also be able to repair the machinery.

“Right now, if, say, a robotic arm breaks down, there’s no one to really fix it — or it takes several people to come in to fix it,” said Florkowski, adding it’s not unusual for a technician to be flown in from Germany to repair a Siemens machine.

Graduates of the new MAMT program will not only be able to program and operate that robotic arm, they will also be able to troubleshoot any problems that occur and make any needed repairs.

The $500,000 in provincial funding given to KPU will fund equipment that the university had already purchased for the MAMT program, including programmable logic controller (PLC) trainers and a small robotic arm.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Mechatronics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology students will learn how to program, operate, troubleshoot and repair technology, such as this robot arm. (Samantha Anderson)

Just Posted

Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society responds to town centre proposal

Society member Andrew Sigalet says the Janda Group’s plan is ‘the best proposal’ he’s seen to date

Langley’s supportive housing dubbed Creek Stone Place

The project is set to open this spring to house 49 homeless people.

Nominations open for Langley-Aldergrove Conservative race

Longtime MP Mark Warawa is stepping down at the Conservative candidate.

Langley developer’s appeal of extradition denied – faces fraud charge

The Court of Appeal has denied Mark Chandler’s attempt to avoid extradition to California.

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Most Read