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BCC Welding juniors Camden Elliott from Indian Valley (Ieft) and Anthony Zombeck from Tuscarawas Valley (right) hold a wall hanging they made using the robotic welder. The students explained that it took about a week to correctly program the welder to make this piece and under one minute for it to complete the piece. This was their first time learning to use the system. (Buckeye Career Center)

NEW PHILADELPHIA – A piece of equipment being used to expand manufacturing training in the Tuscarawas Valley is now operational at Buckeye Career Center. 

A nearly $110,000 Lincoln Electric robotic welder now sits in the Welding lab at BCC. It was acquired through local contributions and a grant awarded to the Multi-County Advanced Manufacturing Corridor workgroup. The grant was made possible by the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia. 

The robotic welder allows high school Welding instructors Randall Patrick and Brian Myers to teach students how to use the growing technique. A full-time Adult Education Welding program will begin during the 2019-2020 school year. 

Patrick says this technology is currently used by about a third of local companies, and he expects even more employers will begin using it in the future. 

Myers says the goal is to expose students to the latest manufacturing technologies. 

“The aim of this acquisition is to be able to teach robotic welding, as well as the programming,” he says. “We are teaching students to write the code and operate the machine,” he says.

BCC Curriculum, Instruction, and Adult Education Director Frank Polen believes the technology is a direct line to local employers. 

“Humanly, you can sometimes weld as fast as what this will do. What you can’t keep up with is the manpower, in terms of putting the steel in place or rotating the steel, because that causes you to stop welding, reload the steel, the pipe, or whatever it may be that you are welding,” said Polen. “This machine does all of that.”

A second round of grant funding will allow BCC to purchase a new CNC plasma cutting system and a Fanuc Fenceless Robot Trainer, with Kent State University at Tuscarawas purchasing other necessary training devices.

About the Multi-County Advanced Manufacturing Corridor

The Multi-County Advanced Manufacturing Corridor is comprised of officials from the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce, Kent State University at Tuscarawas, Buckeye Career Center, Ohio Means Jobs of Stark and Tuscarawas Counties, East Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Harrison County Community and Economic Development, and Carroll County Economic Development. The group hopes to expand local manufacturing training to benefit employers in the Tuscarawas Valley. The partnership also allows KSU Tuscarawas and BCC to share resources and develop new academic and training programs. 


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