Industrial Tech students study mechatronics at SHS

Industrial Tech students study mechatronics at SHS

“You’ve been flown in halfway across the country, the machine’s down in a manufacturing plant, costing the company a half million dollars every hour its down, and you need to fix it.  You’re on the clock... You have to fix it.  Go!”

Given that troubleshooting scenario from Springfield High School Industrial Technology Instructor T.J. Brown, his mechatronics class goes to work! 

Working in teams of two, the fastest group completed the task in 15 minutes; four groups took the entire class hour to complete the task; and two groups had to continue working on their task during class the following day.“I was impressed. I didn’t think they would get it done as fast as they did,” said Brown, speaking recently to the Springfield Board of Education as he demonstrated mechatronics in his classroom. “It’s one thing to know how to build the robot and write the computer program that operates it; with some minimal training you can follow a manual and do that, but can you fix it when something’s messed up?” he asked.

Mechatronics is an integration of hydraulics, pneumatics and electronics with computers; putting all those together to automate manufacturing, explained Brown.

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