SMART donates robots to LBW

Published 10:40 am Thursday, August 26, 2010

In a move to help boost worker skills, SMART-Alabama LLC recently donated two ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Fanuc robots, valued at $52,571, to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College for training purposes.

The robots are being installed in LBWCC’s Luverne Center, located on Glenwood Road, with an open house planned once installation is complete.

“We are more than thrilled to accept this level of technology and will use the robots to train students for the area workforce,” said Dr. Herb Riedel, LBWCC president. “The SMART-Alabama company is a tremendous asset for Crenshaw County, and this donation helps workforce development efforts throughout the region.”

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SMART (Stamped Metal American Research Technology) located in Luverne currently employs about 700 and is a Hyundai Tier I supplier, providing the principal body frame and other metal parts. The company utilizes robots for high precision creation of products to be used in Hyundai automobile manufacturing.

“Workers not only need to know how to operate robots in this type setting, but also how to repair any problems. These donated robots will allow that training to take place in Luverne,” said Riedel. “They are a huge benefit to our industrial robotics and electronics programs.”

SMART-Alabama Vice President Seh-Woo (Stuart) Eom said the company supports and values the educational services provided by LBWCC.

“We will always be there for our friends at LBWCC and appreciate the good work they do,” he said.

“I think we all need to focus on raising awareness of the value of LBWCC to the community, as well as the benefits of having a local educational institution that can provide us and other employers the technical personnel we must have to insure our manufacturing base in this area,” said Dee Sands, SMART general manager, operations.

“It is our pleasure to have presented the equipment to a group who will use it to improve the skills of their students. This will benefit us as much as the students.”

The Fanuc R2000iA robot is utilized for spot welding, and the Fanuc ARC Mate 100iC robot for MIG welding. Both robots have process attachment points for supporting several types of manipulators and are servo-motor driven.

Renovations to the rear of the LBWCC building in Luverne, formerly housing the National Guard Armory, made it possible to install the robots with ample room for movement.

Initially, the equipment will support classes for technicians in the industry, said Jimmy Hutto, LBWCC associate dean of Adult Education and Workforce Development.

“In the long run, we expect the robots to support a class devoted to robotics training at the upper end of industrial electronics curriculum,” he said.

Installation and setup of the equipment is donated by Daesin Robot, LLC of Luverne.