FANUC America Corporation Advanced Manufacturing

Take an Advanced Manufacturing Skilled Trades tour with Tom Daldin at FANUC America Corporation.

Many people associate skilled trades with low paying or dirty jobs, but many skilled trades jobs have evolved into good-paying, sustainable, high-tech career opportunities. Today, skilled trades are some of the most in-demand jobs in Michigan, with more than 8,300 job openings. That number will continue to grow, with more than 6,700 job openings expected every year through 2022. Learn about a career in robotics and manufacturing firsthand by watching interviews with professionals in the industry below.

Advanced Manufacturing Skilled Trades Q&A

Read below for a quick summary of the most viable information from the video!


Question: What types of industries does FANUC America Corporation serve?

Answer: As a worldwide company, we’re involved in just about every industry you can think of, from aerospace and automotive to packaging, pharmaceuticals and food processing.


Question: What are the skills needed to work in robotics?

Answer: As more manufacturers introduce advanced automation through robotics and CNC, people need to understand how this technology works, how to program it and how it applies to different applications in manufacturing.


Question: How did you train for a career in automation?

Answer: Like many people, I started out not knowing what I wanted to do when I went to college. I started in a mechatronics program, which combines elements of mechanical engineering and electronics, and took introduction courses in robotics. I discovered this would be a great career path and I had interest in it so I began studying programing and material handling while at community college. After about a semester, I got my certification.


Question: What types of opportunities are there for individuals who want to work in automation?

Answer: There isn’t a company out here that doesn’t have job openings in this field. The challenge is finding the right individuals with skills to fill these jobs. We have some great engineers and technicians but the need for talent is still there. That’s why we’re working with high schools, community colleges and universities to find the right people.


Question: How can someone land a job working in automation?

Answer: Check out career fairs and look for job shadowing programs or internships. These are great ways to get your foot in the door and your name in front of employers. You’ll also get great experience that can make you stand out compared to other candidates.


Question: What do you enjoy most about your career?

Answer: I’m constantly learning new things and I’m getting to implement the new technologies and configurations in the systems. I get to do different customizations and it keeps my days exciting. There are also so many different opportunities for advancement in this field and not a lot of people can say they work with robots.


Question: What is the work atmosphere like in advanced manufacturing?

Answer: It’s not what many people think it is. When people think of manufacturing, they think of dirty plants or heavy industrial plants where you have to wear coveralls. That’s one of the misconceptions we battle all the time. It’s nothing like that. Today’s manufacturing is highly automated with highly skilled employees working with some of the most advanced technology that is available.


Question: What level of autonomy do the robots at FANUC America Corporation have?

Answer: From an autonomous point of view, once you program a robot, they run completely autonomously. And there is a lot of intelligent input, whether it’s using vision to find and identify parts, or using vision for guidance and motion. There’s a lot less human intervention and more focus on producing.


Question: Is it true that automation is eliminating jobs?

Answer: Robots actually create jobs. For every robot we install, four to five jobs are created. We may take an individual out of that dirty, dangerous, monotonous, ergonomically hazardous environment and put a robot in there, but we’re creating jobs in what we call the manufacturing ecosystem. So someone is needed to design the cell, design the end-of-arm tooling, design the system that gets integrated or programed. These jobs are higher skilled program jobs and are created when we install a robot.

Get more information on skilled trades and manufacturing career paths.