Yaskawa Southern Africa donates robot-welding system to SAIW

Automation and robotic system solution providing company Yaskawa Southern Africa has handed over a complete robot welding system to the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) to enable learners to have practical training when completing the SAIW’s new robot-welding training programme. The programme comprises the training of robotic-welding operators, skilled welders and welding engineers.

“What we are trying to achieve, together with the SAIW, is to give students an opportunity to complete a basic welder training course, whereafter those who obtain good marks in their exams will be offered the opportunity to enroll in a more advanced robotic welding course,” said Yaskawa Southern Africa’s chairperson and key account manager Terry Rosenberg in a recent interview with Engineering News.

“Robotic welding is a skill that the automotive industry wants the SAIW to introduce to train welding people and so provide greater work opportunities for them thereafter,” said Rosenberg.

“A robotic welding operator represents the entry-level of the robotic skills of the programme, while the second level comprises the robot-welding programming, where basic, advanced and master levels of programming are taught.”

“The SAIW is doing a good job of basic welder training and inspector training programmes. However, welding covers a broad spectrum of education and includes training of welding operators to cover general welding work, training of skilled welders and here you require matric and the training of welding engineers where you require a university degree.”

“The training of robot-welding operators only requires individuals to have basic literacy skills, which is the equivalent to the requirements needed for being a general worker. For robot-welding programming, individuals are required to have passed Grade 12, with good performance in maths literacy and physical science to be able to learn the technical skills.”

“Yaskawa Southern Africa will train the SAIW trainers, who, in turn, will train people and when they graduate from the robot welding school at SAIW, Yaskawa Southern Africa will offer them an advanced course in robot-welding software programming at its robotic academy in Longmeadow, in Johannesburg,” said Rosenberg.

“This will improve their chances of getting employed as the robot user industry is constantly looking for people who can robot weld, as they are as scarce as hen’s teeth. Companies hold on to the good staff out there because there are so few of them.”

“Moreover, people should think of robots as another manufacturing tool and companies need skilled people to programme the robots for them to do the job and that is when the welding education aspect becomes important.”

Enterprise development
“We are planning to launch an enterprise development programme for robot welder graduates within two years. Yaskawa Southern Africa will create, in cooperation with key industry players, incubation centres where some of the qualifying graduates from its school can acquire business skills and help them to establish small businesses.”

“We will encourage the automotive manufacturers to support these small businesses by providing them with contracts to manufacture a few components. This in turn will start developing small independent businesses,” concluded Rosenberg.

For more information contact Yaskawa Southern Africa on TEL: 011 608 3182 or visit www.yaskawa.za.com