The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), in partnership with Festo Didactic, will establish industry-recognized skills standards and credentials for jobs related to Industry 4.0. With the significant trend in digitalization of manufacturing through technology advancements such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), training in these skills is needed. With NIMS’ emphasis on manufacturing skills training, credentialing, and standards, plus Festo’s complete Industry 4.0 learning Factories, courseware, and eLearning integration, the two organizations are well poised to provide the training programs for Industry 4.0.
Montez King, executive director of NIMS, says, “This is an exciting development for manufacturers and educators as it directly addresses both the data-driven revolution happening in manufacturing today and the skills gap. There are so many interdependent functions and abilities surrounding Industry 4.0 that this effort will help to bring clarity to the proficiencies required, train people extremely well, and validate their expertise.”
The emergence of Industry 4.0 is new territory for most in manufacturing. As such, among the first tasks to be accomplished is to conduct research to discover and verify exactly what those competencies must be. Then, the training protocols and credentials will be created.
“We are hopeful to have the standards identified and the training program in place by the end of 2019,” King says.
Thomas Lichtenberger, CEO of Festo Didactic says, “As the production line become ‘smarter’ – collecting data to change processes and create efficiencies – workers and students will be expected to adapt in the same way. Bringing NIMS, Festo, and other industry partners together, we look forward to a collaboration that leads to world class industry standards and learning systems programs.”
During the development of the new Industry 4.0 skills standards, NIMS will ascertain the credentials in its existing programs that support the various Industry 4.0 functions and target new credentials for development. The training outcome is to provide employees in or entering a manufacturing workplace with an understanding of Industry 4.0 concepts and impart certifiable skills as companies increasingly adopt automation and data gathering and management functions in their manufacturing operations.