IMTS Student Summit 2022 Follow up

Thank you for visiting us at THE IMTS Student Summit 2022!

Dear Student Summit Patrons,

We all at GennFlex appreciate your interest in our training solutions! It was great to meet you in person. We had a chance to quickly discuss what brought you to the show and what we, GennFlex, are offering to the industrial training marketplace. Now that we discovered a few touchpoints where our interests overlap, let’s start a more detailed and substantive conversation.

A quick recap of GennFlex
Robot Programming class in session.

As we have discovered in our conversations, many schools are offering robotics classes as part of their STEM curriculum. Those classes are typically based on the Vex Robotics, Lego, or Project Lead the Way (PLTW) solutions. These programs are great in getting the younger learners excited about the technology and possibly steering them toward engineering careers. Regardless of the individual program’s shortcomings, they all typically fulfill this function. At the peak of these programs, the students learn to build bots and compete in championships, like FRC for example. Great! Once the programs are over, there will be a group of students that would want to make the next step. The problem is that in most cases no higher level of Robotics training is offered to them. That leaves a huge gap between the learning outcomes of the PLTW, Vex, and Lego programs and the actual skill sets and credentials that the industry is looking for.

And this is one of the gaps that we at GennFlex are trying to bridge. We build and deliver advanced robotics training solutions to schools, higher education, and adult learners. Our solutions include all the needed components that allow you, the educator, to start or enhance an existing STEM training program:

Equipment – we created a modular and flexible hardware platform that allows us to configure training carts to fit practically any training program need – from basic robot programming to PLC, CNC, Machine Vision, Pneumatics, and more. All our robotic and machine carts are built using the most current technology, using components from the leading global brands, such as Yaskawa, SMC, and Keyence to name a few. The key notes about our carts’ design: they all fit through standard 32” doors, and only need a standard 110V power source to operate. Therefore, they can function in any classroom with a standard power supply.

Instructor Training – not all client organizations have teachers that are fully updated on the current automation and robotics technologies. We train our clients’ teachers and certify them as instructors upon course completion.

Curriculum – We do not just provide the hardware. We develop curricula in partnership with our major OEM partners. All introductory (beginner) level courses are provided at no cost to all our client organizations. We make the coursework available via our LMS – GennFlex Learning Portal.

What sets us apart

At GennFlex we strongly believe in making advanced robotics and STEM programs available and accessible to any school and organization, regardless of their location, funding, and resources. In our recent conversations with the educators, the following factors were mentioned to explain why certain schools were not yet offering a STEM / Robotics program to their students:

a) budget

b) trained staff (instructors and maintenance personnel)

c) curriculum

d) an insufficient number of students to justify serious investment in STEM equipment.

At GennFlex, we have the answers to all the above issues, and our approach to these common industry challenges is what we believe sets us apart from the competition.

Budgets

All schools are not created equal. Some have better access to grants and corporate donations than others. But that is not a good reason for your students to have diminished access to advanced industrial training.

We believe two major factors will help us remove the budget as an obstacle to letting your students pursue their engineering career dreams.

Flexibility in equipment procurement

We are not necessarily pushing the sales of our equipment. If your school has allocated sufficient funds, then certainly, you might be leaning toward creating a sizable innovation lab or center with a variety of robots and machines to support a range of robotic and automation programs. However, if you find yourself under some fiscal pressure, we will be happy to work with you on offering equipment lease or rental options. These options allow you to scale your equipment exactly to the scope of your current STEM programs.

Mobile Training Delivery

When your STEM programs tend to fluctuate frequently, or you do not have the capacity to set up even a small STEM lab at your facility, mobile training delivery might be the solution you are looking for. We will deliver all the equipment required for the planned classes in one of our Mobile Training Stations (MTS). You might recall seeing a large black van in our booth at the Student Summit show – yes, that was one of our MTS. Each MTS fits up to 5 GennFlex carts and is equipped with a loading ramp. All you need to prepare for the class is to make a clean room with a 110V power supply available. We will take care of the rest.

Mobile Training delivery is often the only option available to small or home schools. All they need to do is cooperate in selecting a commonly accessible location, coordinate their training schedules, and contract a GennFlex MTS to arrive there to conduct the training classes.

Trained Staff

You should not abandon your STEM program development due to a lack of qualified instructors or teachers. GennFlex is offering instructor training and certification to our clients. More importantly, perhaps, all instructor training programs that cover introductory level instruction are offered at no cost. Once your teacher completed the training at GennFlex, we also provide access to the relevant course curriculum via our LMS. Instructor training is designed to be flexible: we offer the training either in our training centers or remotely. Often a combination of both approaches works best – some of the theoretical instruction can be covered remotely, but then the hands-on portion – labs and exercises – are performed at the training center.

Curriculum

We offer course documentation in the areas of study that our equipment is designed to support. Robot Programming, PLC Programming, CNC, Machine Vision, and Pneumatics. These courses are designed around the core learning objectives that lead to stackable credentials relevant to the industry.

So, the question that you might be having now is – given all the information above, how do I start approaching my STEM program development?

The GennFlex Approach

We offer our clients a simple 3-step engagement process.

STEP 1: Get your staff trained by GennFlex

Assign one or two of your staff to be trained and certified by GennFlex. All Introductory level programs are offered at no cost. Let’s take an Introduction To Robot Programming course for Instructors as an example. This program includes 32 hours of instruction and labs, plus 16 hours of after-program engineering support. Your teachers can complete the entire course at the GennFlex training center in Wheeling, IL, or remotely. The labs will require your teachers to have direct access to the equipment, however. So, either they will need to be at our training center for the hands-on training, or in case the GennFlex equipment was purchased prior to the training, our instructor will guide them through the labs remotely.

Once your teachers successfully complete the training, they will be certified to conduct the instruction of the course they were trained for. They will get access to the LMS and all related course documentation.

STEP 2: Plan your STEP Program

Now that your organization has the trained staff and access to the curriculum, you now have the flexibility to define the scope of your STEM program to optimally fit the overall organizational strategy. Whether you offer robotics and automation programs as part of your main STEM curriculum, run optional after-hours classes, or will limit your engagement to occasional events, such as Summer STEM Camps, all these options are now within reach. To a large extent, your choice will be driven by the estimated number of students that you plan to engage in the program.

STEP 3: Define your equipment needs

With the STEP program planning complete, now you are ready to correctly assess your equipment needs. The number of students and diversity of the areas of study will likely demand optimal equipment choices to be made.

Larger programs that are planned to be running for several years will likely require the purchase of the equipment that will be permanently located at your facility.

Medium-scale programs might be a good case for leasing the equipment (from several months to several years).

And finally, for short-term programs, you will be better off renting the equipment from GennFlex.

We have designed these options to allow maximum flexibility in the development of STEM programs.

Long-term Support

Especially with the purchase of the equipment, you will be wondering what level of support you will get from GennFlex.

GennFlex is set to create long-term relationships with our clients. Customer and technical support are crucial areas of that relationship. Our support teams help our clients with equipment setup questions, connectivity to external devices, repairs, and upgrades.

With GennFlex, you need to know only one phone number and email to get all of the GennFlex equipment and training-related questions.

What is the next step?

Next, we need to discuss your immediate STEM needs and plans. Once we know your situation better, we will be able to recommend optimal solutions and packages.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Sal Akhundov

Director of Marketing, GennFlex, Inc.

sal@gennflex.com

(847) 999-7150

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