A new $3.8 million Ivy Tech facility in Elkhart County will offer more opportunities for people to learn advanced manufacturing skills.
Community and government officials on Sept. 9 broke for the new Ivy Tech Community College South Bend – Elkhart iFlex Lab at the Elkhart County campus in Goshen. The project is part of a development and campus expansion project to introduce a “state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 regional manufacturing workforce training facility,” college officials said.
The facility is expected to be operational by fall 2021.
“We look forward to working with the county, the LIFT Network and all of our great, local academic and industry partners to help train Elkhart and Indiana residents in Industry 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and future technologies as we pursue our dream of transforming our region from being one of the largest manufacturing hubs in the state into being the largest manufacturing hub in the country,” said David Balkin, Ivy Tech South Bend-Elkhart chancellor.
The iFlex Lab will serve as a Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network center. The sites provide access to research and learning facilities to reduce the risks and costs of innovation and increase the availability of resources for education and professional development across the South Bend – Elkhart region, college officials said.
The 10,400 square-foot lab will be a workforce training site to teach essential skills tied to digital manufacturing operating processes and functions to aid in adopting Industry 4.0 operating practices and equipment.
The lab will be equipped with art advanced manufacturing equipment including Fanuc robots in various applications, cooperative robotic applications, and an integrated automated manufacturing lab with associated IIoT data collection capabilities.
“With nearly one-in-three jobs in the South Bend-Elkhart region being represented by the manufacturing sector, the emergence of the iFlex Lab presents an opportunity for regional firms to tap into a state-of-the-art training facility that intends to bridge the gap between digital transformation and operational adoption within regional firms,” said Regina Emberton, president and CEO of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership.