specialist article
As Automation Advances, Technical Training Becomes Increasingly Important

Manufacturers around the world rely on advanced automation technologies such as robots and machine vision more than ever before. As automation adoption increases, however, manufacturers must ensure that employees can safely and effectively operate and troubleshoot systems deployed onto the factory floor.

To that end, at the General Motors (GM) Technical Learning University (TLU), tradespeople and engineers can improve their technical skills in robotics. As part of this program, GM chose BizLink Robotic Solutions USA as a strategic partner for technical training.

Partnering with GM

Part of the Global Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan, TLU is a state-of-the-art training facility that will see up to 3,600 workers pass through its doors by the end of 2023. At the 135,000-square-foot facility, students learn using robot cells like those found in GM plants, advanced new equipment such as flexible sheet metal fabrication technology, and electrical and controls technologies.

“At the TLU, we implement a standardized training approach facilitated by third-party coordinator BizLink Robotic Solutions,” said Global Technical Center manager Chris Barclay. “Every apprentice, skilled tradesperson, or engineer attending TLU returns to his or her home plant or technical center with new skills and knowledge that are consistent with those of colleagues across GM on a global scale.

He added, “BizLink delivers a unique and unparalleled level of expertise and industry knowledge that helped bring this exciting facility to life.”

Custom solutions for evolving needs

BizLink Robotic Solutions USA offers custom technical training in several areas. Students are typically engineers, electricians, operators, and technicians who deal with automation equipment in industries such as automotive, aerospace, wastewater treatment, and general manufacturing. “Whether a smaller facility or a state-of-the-art, multimillion-dollar center like the one at GM, our training approach remains the same,” said BizLink's training sales expert and key account manager. “Our training group adapts to the need of the customer and provides training that centers around a full understanding of a system — from the PLC to the robot and beyond — so that customers leave the course empowered to run and troubleshoot the entire system."