A few seats remain for this month's foundry robotics course—register now!

Posted By: Erin Russell Industry, NFFS,

Banner with illustration of robotic armThe Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society recently announced the launch of the new Fundamentals of Robotic Operations for Foundries course in cooperation with the University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting & Additive Manufacturing Centers and Hawkeye Community College. The 3.5-day training course will take place in Waterloo, Iowa, on March 21-24, 2023, and will provide foundry professionals with introductory knowledge and skills to begin programming and operating an industrial robot in a production environment. 

  • A small number of seats remain for this valuable and low-cost opportunity—only $199 for members, $399 for non-members! Register NOW while space remains. 
  • Attendees DO NOT need to have any prior experience with robotics or computer programming to be successful.


Topics covered in the course include: 

  • basic fundamentals such as robot operation and programming,
  • manual operation,
  • coordinate systems, and
  • how to write a basic program to start.

Upon the completion of the coursework, students will have the opportunity to apply their learned skills using industrial sized robots in a production environment within the UNI Metal Casting & Additive Manufacturing Center.

UNI Metal Casting & Additive Manufacturing Center
UNI Metal Casting & Additive Manufacturing Center

The course will be held March 21-24, 2023, in Waterloo, Iowa at Hawkeye Community College with the final day onsite at the UNI Metal Casting & Additive Manufacturing Center.

Registration fees are $199/student and includes all course and lab supplies. Lunch provided daily. Students are responsible for their own hotel and travel expense. You may consider the Courtyard by Marriot Waterloo/Cedar Falls which is conviently located near both the UNI metal casting center and Hawkeye Community College.


The Coursework

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hawkeye Community College

Basic Robot Operation

  • Power Up and Shutdown
  • Safety
  • Manual Operation - Jog
  • Speed Control
  • Gripper

Basic Robot Operation

  • Point Moves
  • Cartesian Coordinate

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hawkeye Community College

Basic Robot Programming (continued)

  • Work Envelope
  • Create a Program from the HMI
  • Write a basic program
  • Step
  • Run
  • Reference Points - Home
  • Writing a program with a loop or branch
  • Counter
  • Modify the program to loop

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hawkeye Community College


  • Write a material handling program

Next Level Topics

  • I/O Interface
  • Conditional Commands
  • Robot and Operator Interface
  • Robot Application Topics

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Metal Casting Center and Laboratory – University of Northern Iowa

Practical Application

  • Half-day demonstration and hands-on operating experience with the UNI finishing robot cell

The Instructors

Kent Wolfe

Kent Wolfe is the Director, Automation and Robotics Center for Hawkeye Community College. 

Before joining Hawkeye Community College last year, Kent had a successful career in manufacturing working for several companies including John Deere and Maytag.

Mohammed Albasri

Mohammed is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. 

Mohammed has worked in industrial maintenance and as an instructor for the Cedar Valley Makerspace and for the IGNITE program in conjunction with the Waterloo School District and Hawkeye Community College, and he is now a full-time Industrial Automation Instructor at Hawkeye.