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Mechatronics lab stops at WITC

Festo Corp, a creator and innovator of automation equipment, parked its mobile mechatronics lab in the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond parking lot and allowed students access to the robotics displayed inside.

WITC students in the automated packaging systems program and industrial automation, controls and networking program demonstrated a keen interest, as mechatronics ties closely to their future careers.

The traveling lab demonstrates Festo's potential and offers seminars in the automotive, electronic assembly and solar, food and beverage packaging, medical and lab automation and process automation areas. Staffed with automation experts, the Mobile Mechatronics Lab tours the U.S. to educate companies and schools about energy efficient automation technology and services, as well as ways to improve equipment and operations.

WITC students and Bosch employees talked with the automation experts such as Greg Swanson, sales engineer, and Steve Fitterer, regional sales manager, about specific needs and got hands-on experience with more than 20 dynamic and 20 static demonstration product boards.

Problem solving and developing critical thinking skills are important aspects of the curriculum in WITC's automated packaging systems program and industrial automation, controls and networking program. WITC graduates in these areas go on to careers with average yearly salaries of $47,405 and $41,809 respectively. More information about WITC's automated packaging systems program and industrial automation program is at

The semi-trailer-sized mechatronics lab was launched at Festo Corp's U.S. base in Long Island, N.Y. in July, and is the only one of its kind stateside. Festo is an international family-owned business out of Germany, and regularly works with clients - such as Bosch - to develop electronic solutions for packaging challenges.