IMTS 2022: Student Competition & I4.0 Learning Experience “Industry 4.Core: Embracing the Journey from Mechatronics to Industry 4.0”

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 September 13, 2022


Festo Didactic, SICK, and Siemens will host 4 days of I4.0 career education, plus a student competition. Come experience the future of learning at Booth #215000 in the North Building, Level 1 at the IMTS Smartforce Student Summit in Chicago from September 12th – 17th, 2022.

Festo Didactic, Siemens, and SICK Safety are teaming up at this year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago. The trio is building awareness around the exciting advancements taking place in industry and technical education. They are hosting a special learning competition at the Smartforce Student Summit to inform and excite young people about the future of manufacturing.

Festo Didactic, an education company with deep roots in manufacturing automation, leverages its industry expertise to offer a wide range of learning solutions that support skills development in all aspects of mechatronics and factory automation.

Festo and its industry partners invite you to attend the IMTS Student Summit to gain new insights into Industry 4.0 education and training. Several training tools and automation systems will be on display as detailed below.

See how the industry-simulated learning equipment helps students and incumbent workers gain the hands-on experience they need to qualify (and upskill) for competitive advanced manufacturing careers.

The Industry 4.0  Skills Competition

Festo, SICK Safety and Siemens have partnered to bring this competition to life, aligning with the Florida Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program (SCCAP). To reflect the industrial evolution from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0, the competition will begin with students utilizing basic skill sets in mechatronics, including but not limited to: mechanical, fluid power, electronic and software-controlled components.

Phase 1 of the competition will be carried out on the Festo MecLab which introduces industrial automation to students. Students will work in pairs and are required to assemble, integrate, and program components to create an automated system that’s capable of completing a specific task. Programming will be done via FluidSIM software which will then assist students in the software interrogation of PLC coding via Siemens TIA portal within the 2nd phase of the competition.

Phase 2 will focus on troubleshooting an Industry 4.0 Cyber-Physical Lab training system that includes robotics. By reviewing theoretical content from the FESTO I4.Core Career pathway curriculum, the students will be motivated and prepared to troubleshoot real industrial advanced technology components that are tightly integrated such as PLC, HMI, MES. Augmented reality features as well as instructions via mobile devices will assist them in taking their commissioning skills into the 4th industrial revolution.

Phase 3 is where students will be tested on their ability to complete a risk assessment on the robotic system integrated into the cyber-physical training module. Festo and SICK created a Safety Awareness Bundle that combines curriculum and hardware. The content of the curriculum focuses on robot risk assessments, in-depth data collection and dissemination, as well as the implementation of the whole system approach versus automation à la carte (Industry 3.0).

The student competition and daily training sessions will be led by Stefany Gurgel, the teacher of Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics at Monmouth County Vocational School District in New Jersey.

“If students only learn theory in the classroom, they won’t have what it takes to succeed in this industry,” Gurgel said. “That’s why apprenticeship programs and skills competitions like this one are so important. They allow students and workers to learn by doing, which equips them with the competencies needed to hit the ground running once they get into a real manufacturing environment or upskill to advance their career.”

Come support students as they compete in the Mechatronics and Industry 4.0 competition and learn the jobs that await them in the next few years!

Smartforce Student Summit

Location: Booth #215000 — North Building, Level 1

September 12-17, 2022, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

View Floor Plan

Award Ceremony

Thursday, September 15 at 2:30 pm in the Smartforce Theater

Guest Lecturer

Students and attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from guest speaker Thorsten Wuest, Associate Professor for Smart Manufacturing at West Virginia University in the Smartforce Theater.

“Digital transformation and Industry 4.0 are here to stay and not optional any longer,” Wuest explains. “Training and upskilling our manufacturing workforce are THE key differentiators for companies and industry to compete.”


Overview of Schedule and Themes

  • •Monday, September 12 – Islands of Automation (Industry 3.0) by Mike Nager of Festo
  • •Tuesday, September 13 – System Approach to Automation by Dr. Thorsten Wuest of West Virginia University from 9:00 – 9:30 at Booth #215000
    • Students will combine all stations and troubleshoot
  • •Wednesday, September 14 – Introduction to Industry 4.Core by Amanda Beaton of Siemens
    • Students will learn about cyber-physical stations from mechanical components – all the way to MES
  • •Thursday, September 15 – Risk Assessment by Brian Sellars of SICK
    • Students will learn about the risk assessment system approach; and field sets calibration


Students: 8

  • •Two high school students from Monmouth County Vocational School District, New Jersey
  • •Three apprentices from Airbus Americas Training Center, Florida
  • •One apprentice from Vaya Space, Cocoa, Florida
  • •Two vocational students from Baden-Württemberg Germany


Judges: 5


Step Into the Classroom of the Future!

“It’s not just hardware but advanced competencies that are needed to prepare students and incumbent workers to thrive in automation and manufacturing,” said Ted Rozier, Director of Engineering for Festo Didactic North America. “Visitors who come to our booth for the full Industry 4.Core experience will be intrigued by the robotic pick and place operations, as well as the advanced 3D vision applications in the cyber-physical training modules because that’s where you can really see the power of product connectivity, traceability and visualization in action.”

Festo Didactic Exhibit Features

Factory Automation

With our learning systems in Factory Automation, we boast qualification topics such as: sustainability through energy measuring, energy efficiency, individualization with mobile or collaborative robots, (intra)logistics, digitalization focusing on data acquisition, evaluation and storage, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital twin.

Visit our exhibit booth to interact with various learning systems and visualization tools that promote an overall systems approach in manufacturing education including:

  • •Festo Cyber-Physical Lab (CP Lab) and corresponding software teachware
  • •Festo Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
  • •Leading Robotic Technology from Universal, Fanuc, and Yaskawa
  • •CIROS Virtual Learning Environment with Simulations and FluidSim Software
  • •Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) (Siemens)
  • •Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) IEC61131 and OPC-UA Enabled (Siemens)
  • •Profinet and IO-Link, the world’s most popular industrial buses
  • •Risk Assessment – Festo + SICK Safety Awareness Bundle
  • •Augmented Reality for Equipment Health and Operation


Bionics4Education – Inspired by Nature

Bionics4Education combines analog and digital learning with a practice-oriented educational kit. With a bionic elephant, chameleon, fish, and flower to choose from, our goal is to engage young people in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) and provide a foundation that sets them up for success.

Festo LX

The Festo Learning Experience (Festo LX) is a new digital learning portal that offers comprehensive learning content for technical and industrial education. Festo LX takes a flexible, microlearning approach supported by multimedia learning nuggets. These “bite-sized” learning exercises can be customized and combined to map out complete individual learning pathways such as I4.core.


A curriculum and learning pathway that compliments the foundational core competencies that employers consider essential for candidates to excel in advanced Smart Manufacturing work environments. I4.core encompasses a blended skillset including: Mechanical, Electrical, Inputs and Outputs, HMI, PLC, MES, and Risk Assessment. I4.core connects teachers and subject matter experts from across grade levels and job roles to look at a standardized plan of progression that will lead to innovative problem-solving techniques which will enhance our efficiency and growth across all disciplines

And don’t forget to visit the National Institute For Metalworking Skills at Booth #215618 to see how NIMS smart standards align with Festo’s cyber-physical training lab.

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