ALEXANDRIA, VA—FANUC America and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) have decided to co-market the stackability of their respective industry-recognized certifications to meet the acute shortage of skilled industrial robotics and automation operators.
Both parties offer their certification assessments through NOCTI/Nocti Business Solutions (NBS) and follow the international standard for personnel certification (ISO 17024) to certify their technicians. This partnership creates a streamlined approach for schools and industry partners when administering the certifications.

FANUC offers industry 4.0 Connected Smart Manufacturing occupational pathways and stackable certifications beginning with the FANUC Certified Robot-Operator (FCR-O1 & FCR-O2) to develop entry- level skills for exciting careers in robotics and automation. The objective is to align students and job seekers on a pathway to become advanced automation operators, technicians, systems integration specialist, or engineers.

However, the US supply chain is confronting a severe shortage of entry-level operator job applicants with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to perform complex operator tasks successfully. The accelerated use of newly emerging digital technologies in manufacturing today is making it even more difficult to fill that skills gap.

MSSC has recently upgraded its signature Certified Production Technician (CPT) program for entry-level front-line production technicians to add a fundamental understanding of Industry 4.0 technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, 3D (Additive), Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), Data Analytics, Autonomous Robots, Augmented Reality, Nanomanufacturing and Advanced Materials.

MSSC offers the added benefit of a nationwide delivery system of some 2,900 MSSC-trained instructors and 1,800 MSSC-qualified test sites, mostly at high schools and community colleges, and 72 technical field reps, in all 50 states.

"When we look at automation controls there is a lot that goes into it," notes Kasey Brooks, Engineering Technologies, Robotics, & CPT Instructor from MSSC Center, Great Oaks Career Campuses. "The FANUC programs are more specific to robots so that is where MSSC can fill in the gaps of how a manufacturing environment is. This gives students an opportunity to connect how robotics and a manufacturing facility connect."

"Quite a few students are enrolled in the robotics program and it would prepare them for more opportunities and with the nomenclature of robotics," adds Lou Toth, Assistant Professor, Advanced Automation and Robotic Technology & CPT Instructor from MSSC Center, Ivy Tech Community College. "Looking back on last semester of students who are apprentices, those who have earned both of one of the 2 certifications for CPT ADMF 1 & 2 have a better understanding of how to apply robotics actions and they do a lot better in the robotics lab."