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Wärtsilä supports Vaasa universities´ technical education with industrial robot

Posted on 2010-11-02 12:38:19 EET.

Wärtsilä Finland Oy lends a modern industrial robot for educational purposes to Research Centre Technobothnia in Vaasa, Finland. The teaching of robot programming and management is substantially facilitated by using the robot, which is benefitting both Wärtsilä and the educational institutes of Technobothnia.

The increased automation in Wärtsilä’s production calls for skilled employees. They have to be able to handle equipment that can do almost anything a worker can do, but more efficiently.

- Already at the product development stage we take automation into account to ensure the quality and manufacturability of the products and to minimize costs. It is beneficial to us when we can hire engineers that already have knowledge in automation and robotics”, says Mr. Kenneth Rönnbäck, Director of Wärtsilä’s Delivery Centre Vaasa.

An important role of the institutions of higher learning is to make sure that the companies in the region have skilled people and thus contribute to keeping competitive operations in Finland.

- This is a further significant testimony of the increased cooperation between working life and education. The robot will be used in applied research, operations and programming training for companies as well as training our engineer students”, says Mr. Jorma Tuominen, Dean, Technology and Communication at VAMK, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences.


Wärtsilä, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences, Vaasa University and Novia University of Applied Sciences are continuously working together to develop the educational opportunities in the region. From left: Dean Erkki Antila (Vaasa university), Director for Delivery Centre Vaasa Kenneth Rönnbäck (Wärtsilä), deans Kim Westerlund (Novia) and Jorma Tuominen (VAMK, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences).

Wärtsilä readjusts its manufacturing layout and will invest in a new automation line at Delivery Centre Vaasa. The industrial robot is therefore moved to Technobothnia for training purposes. The robot can be programmed to do almost any work phase of a worker in the production environment. Particularly work involving a lot of repetition, monotonous work or unfavourable ergonomics, is well suited for the seven programmable shafts of the robot. By using robotics the risk of human errors is eliminated and safety is increased. At the same time flexibility in capacity increases during volume fluctuations.


VAMK´s Senior Lecturer Mika Billing demonstrates how to control the robot.

Technobothnia Research Centre strengthens the position of Vaasa as a significant centre of expertise in the field of technology.
The owners of Technobothnia are VAMK, University of Vaasa and Novia.

Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2009, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.3 billion with more than 18,000 employees. The company has operations in 160 locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.

Text: Marica Lassus, Tarja Gromov
Photos: Vesa Sirén