Tyson Donates Robot to UACCM Foundation for the IMMT Program


men stand by a robotic arm
IMMT Instructor Brian Lum demonstrates the ABB robot to student Parker Lee.
UACCM’s accomplished Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology (IMMT) program has received a major boost thanks to a gift from Tyson Foods: an ABB Flex Trainer robot. The UACCM Foundation received the donation through a collaborative grant between the company and the Office of Skills and Development and the Arkansas Department of Commerce. The total value of the donation— including the robot, instructor certification, and the licensing software—was $200,000.

At UACCM, the robot will provide students an opportunity to train on another piece of equipment that is critical to the workforce. To be fully prepared for an economy that continues to shift to automation, the robot has a plethora of uses present in major companies—Ford Motor Co. uses it to hold pieces into place during vehicle assembly, Mercedes Benz uses it to paint, and Tyson uses it for packaging. In Arkansas, there are many of these machines like this doing various tasks, offering increased employment opportunities to IMMT students. 

The robot is essentially an arm that moves objects. A user wears a control panel and can either manually control the arm on multiple axes or insert programmed commands. It is a variety of sophisticated technology the IMMT program uses throughout the curriculum—ranging from hydraulics, pneumatics, motors, and conveyors. 

With this donation to the UACCM Foundation, Tyson Foods builds on a legacy of supporting UACCM and technical education in Arkansas. In 2016, Tyson gave a $200,000 grant to the college through its Ways We Care campaign, which went towards the construction of the Workforce Training Center.

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