News: Automated Manufacturing & Machining

Penn College Professor Visits Chinese Manufacturing Facility

Inside the Chinese facility making the Zeepro 3D printer, a worker positions part of a cell-phone case in a precision milling and engraving machine.

Manufacturing students at Pennsylvania College of Technology will be exposed to international insights this fall, thanks to the unique summer travels of one of their professors.

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of automated manufacturing and machining, recently returned from China where he toured a midsized manufacturing facility for Zeepro Inc., a company producing consumer market 3-D printers.

“The Chinese facility had machines similar to the ones in our own manual and automated manufacturing labs,” Albert said. “I got a fantastic look at the level of technology and processes they were using to make finished goods. I was given permission to photograph the entire plant, including their manufacturing lines. Those photos alone will be valuable for class use.”

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Now Showing: ‘SMART Girls in 3-D’
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Three SMART (and pleasant) Girls pause during preparation of their Monarch Butterfly display ...

The “mock” trade show that ended this week’s four-and-a-half-day SMART Girls session proved to be the real deal, indeed, offering display after display by young women who showed as much heart as they did skill. The rising ninth- to 11th-graders from across Pennsylvania used three-dimensional technology to create projects on behalf of causes near and dear to them, then presented their finished work to the Penn College community Thursday morning. Chosen by attendees as the top presenters were First Place: Monarch Butterfly (Tori May, McCartney Register and Rebecca Piergallini, Keystone Central School District); Second Place: BeeKeeper (Hanna Yu, State College Area School District, and Carlisle’s Anna Lippert and Grace Echevarria); Third Place: Polar Bears (Lauren Clay and Violet Burbank, Carlisle Area School District, and Mikhayla Browne, Midd-West Area School District).

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SMART Girls ‘Dream It – Design It – Do It’ in 3-D Summer of Exploration

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, leads participants (who come from a wide variety of Pennsylvania counties) through an "Innovation Station: Product Design" session.

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, leads participants (who come from a wide variety of Pennsylvania counties) through an “Innovation Station: Product Design” session.

Intently tending to the project at hand

Intently tending to the project at hand

SMART Girls wave from the Hiawatha riverboat.

SMART Girls wave from the Hiawatha riverboat.

Pizza in the park!

Pizza in the park!

Relaxing on the riverside

Relaxing on the riverside

The summer edition of Penn College’s popular SMART (Science & Math Applications in Real-World Technologies) Girls program gave each participating ninth- through 11th-grader an opportunity to experience the art of 3D printing from beginning to end. The girls worked in teams to design and print their 3-D creations, which will be displayed at a public event Thursday morning. Members of the campus community are invited to attend the mock trade show to be held from 10-11 a.m. in Room 157 of College Avenue Labs, which culminates the weeklong residential program coordinated by Outreach for K-12 and aided by corporate donations through the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. In addition to the project-based learning exercise, the SMART Girls learned about career, economic and workforce development … and had more than a little fun in the bargain.
Photos by Cindy D. Meixel, writer/photo editor, and Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Manufacturing Students Excel at International Baja Competition

Benjamin D. Lopatofsky, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Williamsport, navigates the college's car during the four-hour endurance race at Baja SAE-Kansas. He and his teammates came in third, the highest finish Penn College has recorded in the marquee event at the Baja SAE competition.

Pennsylvania College of Technology manufacturing students were driven to succeed at a recent international showcase simulating real-world engineering. The Penn College contingent placed third out of nearly 100 teams in the marquee event at Baja SAE in Pittsburg, Kansas.

The Society of Automotive Engineers competition required students to design and build off-road cars to be tested in various categories. Penn College met the challenge in the four-hour endurance race. The students’ dune buggy-like vehicle completed 52 laps over a rugged 1.5-mile course to finish third, the highest ranking in the college’s nine-year history at the event.

“I am very proud of this group of students for their hard work and dedication in accomplishing this result, as well as their contribution to the overall reputation, standing and prestige of Penn College,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining and the students’ adviser.

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Penn College Senior Manufactures Forging Hammer

Daniel J. Ravizza, of Honesdale, with the half-ton forging hammer he built for his senior project at Penn College.

Daniel J. Ravizza wanted to “stretch” himself for his senior project. The Pennsylvania College of Technology student recently met that noble goal by manufacturing a forging hammer, a machine that forms and shapes metal.

“It’s been in the back of my mind to do this for a number of years. Since I wasn’t working full time, I had the time to devote to this and try to do something more involved,” said Ravizza, of Honesdale. “It was a big challenge.”

Designing and building the 1,000-pound machine over three semesters fulfilled the requirements for Ravizza’s third Penn College degree. He’ll receive a Bachelor of Science in manufacturing engineering technology at Spring Commencement. In 2007, Ravizza earned associate degrees in automated manufacturing technology and toolmaking technology.

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Promising Job Outlook Awaits Well-Equipped Penn College Grads

Pennsylvania College of Technology will potentially send more than 900 new employees into the job market this month, and the new graduates are poised for success with their workforce-ready skills and specialties.

“Demand for Penn College graduates remains high,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “Programs across campus are reporting graduates accepting employment offers at a rapid pace.”

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Grant Opens Access to Additive Manufacturing Technologies

Through a grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, the Innovative Manufacturers’ Center partnered with Pennsylvania College of Technology to increase access to additive manufacturing among both educators and industry.

Additive manufacturing uses a 3-D printer, which builds an object from a computer-aided design by “printing” thin layers of plastic or other material on top of one another. Often used in industry to quickly prototype products or parts before putting them into production, as the process is refined, it has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing.

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Nine of 12 College Medalists Headed to SkillsUSA Nationals

SkillsUSA-Pennsylvania

Nine Pennsylvania College of Technology students from a variety of majors will compete at the National SkillsUSA Conference from June 23-28 in Kansas City, Mo., after winning gold medals at the state level.

Three other students in the college contingent finished second in their respective categories at the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held April 9-11 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

And a Penn College student/alumnus will attend as a candidate for the highest individual SkillsUSA honor: an International Degree, awarded at the rarely attained upper level of the organization’s professional-development program.

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National Science Foundation Grant to Support ‘STEM’ Majors

The National Science Foundation is recognizing Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to applied technology education with a $616,417 grant to benefit students.

Provided through the NSF’s Division of Undergraduate Education’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program, the five-year grant aims to increase retention, degree completion and career preparation for students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies at Penn College.

The majority of the grant’s funds will be devoted to scholarships. Approximately 20 students will be awarded scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of four years. The first scholarships will be awarded during the 2014-15 academic year.

“This grant allows us to bring high-performing students to Penn College who might otherwise not have the means to do so,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “It is likely to be a life-changing opportunity for these students. They will ultimately gain an education that will prepare them for a lifetime of success.”

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Board Approves Investment Manager, Audit Firm

The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday approved the college administration’s recommendations for an investment manager and an auditing firm.

An internal committee, with input from several Penn College Foundation Board members, as well as college faculty, reviewed and evaluated proposals and recommended that Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors Inc., Williamsport, the college’s current investment manager, be retained. The new fee structure will be less than the current level.

After a similar process, the college administration recommended that the firm of ParenteBeard, Williamsport, provide auditing services for the college for a three-year period. That recommendation was also approved by the board.

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Student-Manufactured Press Brake to Benefit Multiple Majors

Keith H. English, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining, second from left, with three of the 25 Penn College students involved with manufacturing a press brake. The students, from left, are initial designer Jason B. Miller, manufacturing engineering technology, Mount Joy; Brandon M. Littlefield, automated manufacturing technology, Russell; and Michael A. Johnson, manufacturing engineering technology, Warren.

Ingenuity among students, faculty and staff across various majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology is resulting in a cost-effective initiative that will benefit the institution and its academic programs for years to come.

The college is in the final stages of manufacturing a press brake, a machine that efficiently bends sheet metal. The completed device will be employed for hands-on student work in several majors, including auto restoration, collision repair, welding, and automated manufacturing and machining.

“This project reflects the true nature of Penn College,” said David R. Cotner, dean of the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. “It’s inventive, hands-on and collaborative. The students in particular are enjoying a tremendous experience manufacturing a machine that will benefit several majors. I’m very proud of all the individuals who are bringing the press-brake idea to life.”

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Campus Visit Shows ‘SMART Girls’ Wisdom of Math, Science

In the additive manufacturing lab, Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, shows the group a grip he made for carrying grocery bags.

In the additive manufacturing lab, Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, shows the group a grip he made for carrying grocery bags.

David E. Bjorkman, emergency management/social science instructor, leads participants in a discussion about hazards.

David E. Bjorkman, emergency management/social science instructor, leads participants in a discussion about hazards.

Girls inspect the intricacies of an object made in the college’s additive manufacturing lab.

Girls inspect the intricacies of an object made in the college’s additive manufacturing lab.

Students from Montoursville Area High School, St. John Neumann Academy, Montgomery Area School District and homeschoolers from Tioga County convened at Penn College for a SMART Girls experience. During their stay Friday, they attended sessions in emergency management and additive manufacturing. SMART Girls – Science and Mathematics in Real-World Technologies for Girls – aims to keep young women interested in math and science by demonstrating how the subjects apply in interesting careers.

12 Schools Converge in College Labs for Skills Competition

The college hosts skills contests in plumbing ...

The college hosts skills contests in plumbing …

... commercial baking ...

… commercial baking …

... precision machining ...

… precision machining …

... and even nail care.

… and even nail care.

Penn College was the site for more than 30 skills competitions Friday as faculty joined representatives from business and industry to help facilitate and judge the SkillsUSA District 6 competitions. Competing were students from 12 high schools and career and technical schools. Students who placed first in their respective events will advance to the Pennsylvania State Leadership and Skills Championships, scheduled in Hershey in April. Following the competition, students enjoyed lunch and an awards ceremony on campus.

Schneider Electric Establishes Endowed Scholarship at Penn College

Hunter S. Forney, of Shippensburg, is the first recipient of an award from the Schneider Electric Scholarship.

Schneider Electric has established an endowed scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology as part of the Penn College Scholarship Campaign.

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Alumna Creates Scholarship Fund as Part of Campaign

Jennifer Brinkley, left, an alumna who has established an annual scholarship at Penn College, with President Davie Jane Gilmour.

A 2005 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology has established an annual scholarship as part of the Penn College Scholarship Campaign.

First preference for awards from the Jennifer Brinkley Outstanding Promise Scholarship will be given to an upperclass student who is a single parent and/or a veteran of the U.S. military, enrolled full time in a bachelor-degree program in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Second preference will be given to an upperclass, full-time student with a 3.5 GPA or better who is enrolled in welding and fabrication engineering technology, manufacturing engineering technology, engineering design technology, or plastics and polymer engineering technology.

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