In the era of AI, the development of smart manufacturing and smart factories has become more and more diversified. In order to cultivate professional and technical talents in smart manufacturing and automation with equal emphasis on theory and practice, National Chung Cheng University (CCU), National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (NYUST), National Formosa University (NFU), and National Chiayi University (NCYU) were invited by a leading server chassis manufacturer Chenbro Micom Co., Ltd., and a PC based CNC controller company Syntec Technology CO., LTD. to formally launched the cooperation project “Industry-Academia Collaboration-Smart Robot Camp”, on August 3 2023. Through the process involving the industry’s problem-solving requests to contest teams, project training and themed physical practice to realize ideas, the 6-week camp aims to reduce the skills gaps in the workforce and discover outstanding talents for the industry, as well as setting a good model in academia-industrial cooperation.
Under the witness of the magistrate of Chiayi County Chang-Liang Weng and the deputy magistrate of Yunlin County Shu-Ya Xie, the cooperation agreement was signed by the president of CCU Zhang-Hua Fong, the director of Chenbro Micom Co., Ltd. Maggi Chen and the director of Leantec Intelligence Co., Ltd. Christine Huang. CCU and the two partner enterprises expected this camp to deliver technical exchanges and help make practical connections between the three parties, enabling the "Academia and Industry Alliance" to expend continuously. Thus, the Alliance can provide a better stage for the outstanding students in the south of the nation to perform well, and at the same time promote the industry-academia cooperation and the industrial cluster development in southern Taiwan.
Following the ideas generated from the previous cross-domain industry-academia cooperation, in the camp, Chenbro put forward the requests themed on the actual needs in server manufacturing. According to the problem-solving requests on the "Motherboard Tray Assembly Automation" and the "Base Lock and Code Scanning Automation", students were first encouraged to come up with some automation and intelligent solutions for the process requirements from the Chenbro Chiayi Factory. Then, the students were asked to use the automation equipment, vision inspection system, and visualization screen to put those ideas into practice, and in the final part of the activity as a competition to verify those solutions over the production technology, industrial application feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and their innovative values.
A total of eight student teams participated in this camp, two of which were from CCU. Every team at the end of the camp gave a presentation at Chenbro Chiayi Factory, on August 12. The champion team would be awarded with a prize of NT$100,000 plus the opportunities for workplace internships during the study period and the employment after graduation from the university.
CCU stated that the camp supports students to accumulate practical experience and pre-taste the challenges in workplace. Moreover, through the resources integration of the practical conducts within the enterprises and the academic research and development from the university, it also helps the industry and the academia be in line with each other, continuously strengthen their relationship and cultivate local talents on smart manufacturing, to jointly achieve a win-win situation for the industry and the university. It is hoped that more industry resources will be introduced in the future, allowing this industrial-theme-based competition to be extended to a long-term industry-academia cooperation project.