Wayne Community College Faculty Member Bobby McArthur has become the first instructor in North Carolina to earn a global certification.
McArthur, an Industrial Systems and Mechatronics Engineering instructor, demonstrated the highest levels of knowledge and skills and was presented the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) Industry 4.0 Certified Associate certification.
He earned nine fundamentals-level certifications at NC3 train-the-trainer events, then passed a 100-question capstone exam based on those topics.
The certifications were PLCs (programmable logic controller)- Allen-Bradley, Mechanical Systems, Fluid Power – Pneumatics, Fluid Power – Hydraulics, Sensor Technology, Robotics, Electricity – DC, Electricity – AC, and Industry 4.0.
“Certification allows you to do a skills-based training on a certain piece of equipment,” McArthur explained.
McArthur’s accomplishment combined with the college having all of the necessary equipment means that WCC can offer the courses that lead to student certification.
The equipment on which the students learn is specific to automation technologies. “By us using Festo and Lab-Volt equipment, we look like what the rest of the world uses,” McArthur said.
The skills learned can be used in manufacturing, automotive, automation, food and beverage, consumer goods, distribution and logistics, and robotics industries.
“He is only the fourth instructor in the entire network to earn this certification and be able to offer it to students,” said Lisa Marshall, Festo program manager for NC3.
The Festo Industry 4.0 Certification Program is a comprehensive industry skills certification that is based on industry and education partnerships to ensure students have the skill set that makes them industry ready.
The certification program has three levels. McArthur can now teach the Fundamentals level courses and is working toward certification for Level Two: Advanced Mechatronics, which includes several “Applied”-level courses. An advisory board is currently writing a third level of advanced credentials.
“NC3 and Festo have been working closely with Wayne Community College to develop instructors and a lab that is geared towards the needs of the Goldsboro community to serve as a North American model program,” said Marshall.
“We are working toward making our program above the others,” McArthur said.
“WCC will be the first school in NC able to offer [this certification] to students,” said Wayne Business and Industry Center Executive Director Craig Foucht. “Currently there are only two schools in the US/world that have issued any to students.”
“Bobby McArthur has been working to fulfill these goals and by obtaining the NC3 Industry 4.0 Certified Associate Certification, has elevated this program to the next level. Mr. McArthur’s commitment to the NC3 certifications demonstrates the understanding of local business needs to provide qualified and trained students to fuel the North Carolina economy,” Marshall said.
“Wayne Community College was one of the first higher ed institutions to explore and adopt Industry 4.0 technologies with career readiness in mind,” said Octavio Rojas, sales director for Festo Didactic North America. “WCC faculty and instructors are forward-thinking and lead by example when it comes to lifelong learning and embracing new technologies, programs, and certifications in technical education.”
“In fact, it was through our partnership with WCC that Festo Didactic was introduced to the certification entity NC3, and the Festo Industry 4.0 Certification Program was born,” Rojas said.
Wayne Community College is a NC3 Leadership School and offers students opportunities to earn NC3 industry certifications. As a Center for Excellence school, WCC is able to host NC3 train-the-trainer events.
NC3 certifications show competence in specific tool use and skills that can be applied across multiple industries. NC3 certifications are integrated into existing technical programs to enhance what is already being taught by providing theory and hands-on practice on specific company-sponsored equipment and tools.
WCC’s Industrial Systems Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology, and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs all can result in associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates as well as the third-party credentials provided by NC3.