On February 17, 2016, twenty-five CHS students from Josh Thomas’s Robotics I and II classes were guests at the Honda North America plant in Marysville. The trip was made possible through the generosity of a local couple who are donors to the CHS Robotics program. Upon arrival at the site, students were escorted into an auditorium to watch a brief slide presentation of the history of the Honda manufacturing operations in Ohio (in business since 1997) and other U.S. sites. The tour guides stressed the importance of Honda’s role in generating billions of dollars for Ohio’s economy while also creating thousands of jobs for our state’s residents.
The Marysville Honda plant has a partnership with Ohio high schools, technical schools and two year colleges to provide training immediately upon completion of students’ coursework in the technology field. It’s even possible to earn a debt-free degree while being employed at the Honda plant. “It helped put into perspective the amount of jobs that would be available to those going into robotics for a field of study,” reflected CHS student, Dylan Brooks.
The world of manufacturing is constantly changing and all facets of carmakers’ assembly lines are becoming more complex with each passing year. Students and chaperones toured the manufacturing plant while production of the Honda Accord was in process. The process designed by Honda stresses the number 60 throughout the assembly line process. For example, it takes only 60 minutes to produce an automobile on each of the two assembly lines; bins hold 60 parts at a time; and workers are allotted 60 seconds to assemble their particular part during the assembly process.
Brayden Noble, a Robotics I student, marveled at the use of vertical space in the facility. Not only was there an assembly line on the main floor but there was also an assembly line above the heads of the main floor workers. Student Jarrett Quincel noted, “The use of robotic ‘arms’ to weld pieces of the car together worked in perfect synchronization.” Grant Hill’s favorite part of the assembly process was watching a robotic arm place the windshield on each car. Both Nicholas Grady and Nathaniel Hettinger were fascinated by the ‘treadmill’ that tests the cars’ ability to reach 60 miles per hour in a limited amount of time. From that point in the manufacturing process the cars were driven to the outdoor test track for their final inspection.
This glance into the high-tech world of auto manufacturing at Honda of Marysville was “an eye opener as a possible career for future engineers”, stated Meghan Brooks, and possibly will open some doors for our Circleville High School Robotics students in the future. Circleville City School Foundation, provider of a three year $9,000 step down grant for the development of the CHS Robotics program, is proud to be a supporter of the CHS STEM curriculum developed and taught by CHS teacher Josh Thomas.