Frequently asked questions about the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP)
General Questions about the SMSCP
Why is Siemens offering a certification program in mechatronic systems?
Due to the increased use of Mechatronic technology in a variety of industries (Job Opportunities), there is a clear need for a comprehensive Mechatronic Systems certification that incorporates international industry standards. Siemens is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mechatronic and automated systems, and has over 20 years of experience in Mechatronics education and over 100 years in technical education in general thanks to the history and traditions of the German vocational and technical education system. This combination of both industrial and educational expertise makes Siemens an ideal provider/partner and competent authority to offer a certification program in Mechatronic Systems to your school or institution.
Why is the ‘System Approach’ teaching paradigm the foundation of SMSCP?
Mechatronics is not only the marriage of electrical, mechanical and computer technologies; it is also a philosophy for looking at the entire system. Under traditional methods of teaching Mechatronics, students learn about each of these fields separately from one another. This system of isolated teaching oftentimes results in the student having little appreciation or understanding regarding the inter-relationships between the different technical subsystems found in most modern production or manufacturing systems.
Under the System Approach, students learn about the complexities of the system in a holistic fashion. Starting at the macro level, students first see the full system and learn about its overall function. From there, they study the mechanical, electrical, and controller subsystems. They learn about the components contained within each subsystem, their interrelationships to one another, and how these interrelationships drive the overall operation of the complete system. So from day one, students are continually working with a complete mechatronic system. This ‘system approach’ teaching ensures that they always keep the "big picture" of mechatronic systems in view. Here at the Technik Akademie Berlin, we have been developing and using this approach successfully for several years to train Siemens employees and thus know from firsthand experience its high level of effectiveness.
Is the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program recognized throughout industry?
Large and small companies, industrial organizations and associations, schools and government agencies have all recognized the SMSCP as being essential for the future idea of manufacturing and mechatronic systems education and operation. Companies from major automotive manufacturers to steelmakers have started to demand SMSCP certifications for their employees and applicants.How is the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program structured?
SMSCP offers 3 certification levels:
Level I: Mechatronic Systems Assistant- the ‘intelligent Machine Operator’
Level II: Mechatronic Systems Associate- the ‘skilled Systems Technician’
Level III: Mechatronic Systems Professional- the ‘university-level Systems Engineer’
The content for each certification level is based on specific job profiles that detail core competencies and skills that successful candidates should be able to apply ‘on-the-job’ upon certification. While these levels are certainly ‘stackable’, they can also stand alone. It is not necessary for a student to complete a lower Level certification to advance on to a higher Level certification. Partner schools have the discretion to determine which approach to use and how to define eligibility criteria for each level.
Each job profile is the result of approximately one year of research and synthesis to formulate a description of what the Certified Assistants, Associates and Professionals should be able to do after having passed their certification exam. The Job Profiles were developed based on input from Siemens factory heads and human resource directors from around the world, as well as together with government workforce qualification authorities in several countries. In addition, we collected input from several professors, authors and researchers in the field of vocational education.