A group of sixteen students from Upsala High School First Robotics class and their instructor, Mr. Curtis Robertson, toured Rotochopper’s manufacturing facility.
Rotochopper Production Manager, Keith Burg, and Shop Supervisor, Chad Molitor led the group through the facility, stopping to highlight areas of interest including the flame tables, press brakes, robots and different production and assembly areas. Questions asked during the tour included: what type of training do we receive on the equipment we have installed recently (our employees helped the companies set up the equipment and the vendor sent out their trainers to train our operators), what do our machines grind (pallets, trees, shingles, and other wood waste), and why we utilize vending machines for supplies (allows us to keep track of inventory and stocking options from the vendors).
The students were also very interested in how Rotochopper uses our robots in our day to day operations. Chad told the students, “The robots are not taking jobs away from our employees. They are doing some of the less desirable and monotonous jobs and doing them more efficiently. For example, we used to weld all of our rotors by hand, but by using the robot to weld the rotor it saves us 80 man hours. The robots have also created new jobs like robot operators and maintenance.”
Following the tour of the facility the students shared a presentation on how the First Robotics Competition operates. Each year they are given a different challenge to build and program a robot to play a game. They demonstrated their project from last year for the Rotochopper team, which included having the robot pick up a ball and throw it and also climb a ladder. Best of luck to the team in their upcoming competitions.
If you know of a group that would like a tour, contact our Director of Community Relations.