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SA TAFE invests in ART SMART plasma cutter to train future generation

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SA TAFE has recently invested in a SMART plasma cutter from Advanced Robotic Technology to train the future generation of sheetmetal specialists and boilermakers.

Skills shortage is one of the challenges presently facing Australia’s manufacturing sector, which is under extreme pressure from a high Australian dollar, relentless global competition and uncertainties over future energy prices. Manufacturing requires a skilled workforce that is able to adapt and respond to the significant challenges it faces, including the shift to higher-level skills driven by the introduction of new technologies and the demands of global competition.

TAFE SA in Adelaide is committed to excellence in training and skills development through engagement with industry, its stakeholders and the local communities. With over 27,000 students across seven campuses, the Institute is developing innovative pathways to meet career aspirations and respond to the needs of South Australia’s workforce.

As part of its extended sheetmetal and boilermaker program and curriculum, the school wanted to incorporate technology that would allow students to create functional cut parts on a machine relevant to this industry.

Jeff Bryant from SA TAFE explained that they wanted to give their boilermaker and sheetmetal apprentices the opportunity to learn using CNC machines employed by industry, helping them gain a new, critical area of expertise and real-world experience. Key requirements included a turnkey system that would not require additional software to run the machine in addition to simple and user-friendly operation with no compromise on high technology and industry standards.

After extensive research, Mr Bryant and his team decided to invest in an ART CNC SMART air plasma cutter, including fume extraction.

ART’s SMART plasma cutter fulfilled all these requirements, offering reliable plasma technology at a low investment cost, while delivering a high level of performance and features. Designed to work with most commonly available sheet and plate sizes and thicknesses, the ART plasma cutters have a small footprint that make them suitable for small to mid-sized shops as found in the sheetmetal and boiler-making industries.

The large user-friendly touch screen controller runs the latest version of ART’s ProfileShop software, which allows good usability over all machine functions in addition to being simple to use and well suited for training applications.

Most importantly, investing in an Australian-made machine was a sensible decision, thanks to easy access to training and local support as well as parts, spares, backup and service, which would not have been possible with a Chinese import.

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