WSCC Launches Robotic Welding Technician Diploma
HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The Wallace State Community College (WSCC) Welding Program is gearing up for a remarkable Fall 2022 semester. The department is launching a new Robotic Welding Technician degree and moving into a new space on campus – the state-of-the-art center for robotic welding, manufacturing and engineering.
The Associate Robotic Welding Technician Applied Science option is a four-semester degree pathway, or a certificate can be earned with 52 credit hours.
“We are thrilled to be the first community college in the state to offer a Robotic Welding Technician Associate’s degree to its students. This option has been a goal of mine for a long time,” said program president Randy Hammond. “The welding industry desperately needs welding robots, and I’m confident that most students will have a job in this field by the end of their fourth semester.”
Specific welding courses for the new degree include Gas Arc Welding and Flux Core Arc Welding (WDT 126); Welding applications consumables (WDT 162); Reading of industrial plans (WDT 110); Reading plans for manufacturing (WDT 223); Robotics Laboratory 1 (WDT 160); Weld inspection and test (WDT 219); Carbon steel fabrication (WDT 131); Robot welding 2 (WDT 275); Sensor Technology and Applications (ILT 240); robotic welding 3 (WDT 276); an elective course in welding/industry; and a welding certification laboratory (WDT 258).
The WSCC program has several robotic welders among its equipment fleet, allowing students to operate and control the robots to perform specific welding tasks. Welding robots are widely used in the automotive industry. According to Allied Market Research, the global robotic welding market is expected to reach $10.7 million by 2026.
“Robotic welding gives us another way to offer our students. If a student is interested in welding, but doesn’t like the idea of manually welding all day, this is a great option. You always work with your hands. The human does the programming and the robot does the welding,” Hammond said.
Hammond added that companies like Blue Origin, among others, have shown interest in WSCC students specializing in robotic welding.
The WSCC Welding Program is launching the Robotic Welding Diploma as it transitions next semester to a new facility – one that includes 87 welding booths, multiple classrooms, virtual welding simulators, pipe fitting stations and plasma cutting, fiber laser cutting and wet jet cutting stations.
“Wallace State is focused on developing the workforce and providing programs and services that align with business and industry needs,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics.
“With this new facility, Wallace State will be one of the largest fabrication training facilities in the Southeast,” said Wes Rakestraw, WSCC Dean of Applied Technology. “The addition of robotic welding is a sign of things to come in the next few years as we add more automation, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things degree options. The options we have for students interested in welding or other technical fields are developing and will lead to incredible opportunities.
WSCC welding students earn National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) credentials upon graduation, and equipment is supplied by Lincoln Electric, the world’s largest manufacturer of welding equipment, consumables welding and automation.
“This installation should be a game-changer for our program. This gives us the opportunity to provide more training. We will have more room for equipment and the ability to serve more students,” Hammond said. “It’s the largest welding facility in Alabama. A Lincoln Electric representative was on campus recently and compared our facility to Lincoln Electric’s new facility in Ohio. He was amazed.
As a result of the transition, welding students can expect to see an increase in evening class offerings. Evening classes available for the Fall 2022 semester consist of SMAW Filet/PAC/CAC (WDT 104) and Shielded Metal Arc Weld Groove (WDT 106).
The new welding facility will also house a business incubator, containing seven incubation modules, an ideation station, as well as co-working and conference spaces.
Watch one of the Wallace State welding robots at www.facebook.com/wallacestatecommunitycollege/videos/1263231457495349.
Fall semester classes begin Thursday, August 18. Register on www.wallacestate.edu/register-now/index.html.
For more information on WSCC welding, contact Hammond at 256-352-8272 or email@example.com.