News about Automated Manufacturing & Machining

Equipment Donation Benefits Penn College Manufacturing Students

Rudy Gebhard (right), senior sales representative for Southwestern Industries Inc., and Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor and department head of automated manufacturing and machining at Penn College, with a TRAK KMX milling machine donated by Southwestern Industries

Manufacturing students at Pennsylvania College of Technology are the beneficiaries of a recent equipment donation from the owners of a company with strong ties to the institution.

Richard and Marion Leonhard, part owners of Southwestern Industries, donated two computer-numerical-control milling machines for the college’s automated manufacturing lab. Hundreds of students in the college’s four manufacturing majors will gain experience on the equipment each academic year.

“Our students will learn to set up, program and operate these machines that are very popular in the low-volume CNC production environment,” said Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor and department head of automated manufacturing and machining. “The machines provide another valuable tool for us to enhance students’ hands-on education.”

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Penn College to Sponsor Apprenticeship Programs

Penn College is presented with a Certificate of Registration for new apprentice training programs in mechatronics and CNC. From left are Eric Ramsay, director, Apprenticeship and Training Office, state Department of Labor & Industry; Eileen Cipriani, deputy secretary for workforce development, Labor & Industry; Shannon Munro (holding National Apprenticeship Week proclamation), vice president for workforce development at Penn College; Christopher Ray (holding certificate), the college's executive director of business development; John Paul, business engagement coordinator, Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp.; Sara Gligora, Ramsay's executive assistant; and James Chiarchiaro, Keystone Development Partnership.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is addressing the manufacturing skills gap by sponsoring apprenticeship training programs for regional companies.

The Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Office recently approved the college’s programs focusing on mechatronics and computer numerical control occupations. As sponsor, the college will oversee all elements, including related classroom training and collection of records from the companies offering on-the-job training.

“Through sponsorship, Penn College is able to bring companies together in a way that reduces cost and minimizes administrative burden,” said Christopher P. Ray, executive director of business development for workforce development and continuing education. “The benefits to manufacturers are considerable when you add industry-recognized credentials and delivery methods tailored to company schedules.”

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Apprenticeships Announced During State Officials’ Campus Visit

With the help of Jacob M. Endy, of Pottstown, a sophomore in mechatronics engineering technology, Cipriani measures rotation speed.

Seth J. Balkey, of State College, a junior in applied technology studies, is among students giving Cipriani and Ramsay a tour of the mechatronics lab.

The guests share a laugh with David M. Zlotnicki, of Oil City, a Presidential Student Ambassador majoring in electronics and computer engineering technology.

As Pennsylvania marks National Apprenticeship Week, the commonwealth’s deputy secretary for workforce development announced mechatronics technician and CNC operator apprenticeships during a visit to Penn College on Friday. “The Wolf administration supports the growth and expansion of apprenticeship programs as a viable way to develop a pool of high-skilled, qualified talent for employers,” Eileen Cipriani said at an afternoon gathering in the college’s Center for Business & Workforce Development. “Creating new apprenticeship programs … not only helps meet regional employment needs, but provides job seekers with valuable hands-on training that leads to family-sustaining jobs.” Watch PCToday for more on the new apprenticeships.

‘STEM Day’ Offers Firsthand Look at College’s Stature

Alumnus Derek F. Knipe, a manufacturing engineer at PMF Industries in Williamsport, gets a Wildcat welcome back to campus.

More than 60 students and faculty from North Penn High School, Williamsport Area High School and Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School visited Penn College during a recent STEM Day program.  The Nov. 8 “Changing the World With STEM” observance included alumni speaker Derek F. Knipe, a 2005 manufacturing engineering technology graduate employed at PMF Industries on Reach Road.  Organizers had help from faculty and students from the School of Construction & Design Technologies and the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. Among those sharing their experiences with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) were Rylee A. Butler, an engineering design technology major from Bellefonte; Connor L. Winslow, of Blanchard, enrolled in information technology sciences-gaming and simulation; heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology students Thomas E. “Ted” Daros Jr., of North Salem, New York, and Barry P. “Pat” Watkins, of Blossburg, and Bradley Q. Kishbaugh, instructor of HVAC technology; Jordan M. Scott, of Cogan Station, and Kachine L. Fry, of Butler, both majoring in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration; and Jacob Giraffa, a mechantronics engineering technology student. The high school students were able to see firsthand the technology with which Penn College students regularly work in their classes; robotics, mechatronics and 3-D printing demonstrations were provided. Manufacturing engineering technology major Logan B. Goodhart from the Baja SAE Club showed off the Baja car and what the club is working on, while visitors to the Engineering Design Technology Workshop drove robots into mock combat.

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Last updated November 13, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Automated Manufacturing & Machining, Construction & Design Technologies, Events, Faculty & Staff, Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Students | This gallery contains 1 photo. | Tagged as | One Comment

New Metal Fabrication Degree Doubles Down on Student Skills

Penn College is promoting versatile manufacturing skills with a new associate degree in metal fabrication technology. The unique, two-year program provides students with foundational skills in machining and welding, which prepares them for a variety of rewarding manufacturing careers. “One reoccuring theme that I heard from students when I was in welding was they wanted to learn how to machine. And then when I taught classes in machining, I heard them saying they wanted to learn how to weld,” says Howard W. Troup, maintenance mechanic/millwright specialist in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. “I would ask employers that were looking for either a welder or a machining person, ‘What if you had a person that had both those skill sets?’ And their eyes would just light up and they would say, ‘That would be fantastic!'”

Foundation Establishes Endowed Scholarship at Penn College

Debra M. Miller, college relations advisor at Penn College, accepts a Herman O. West Foundation grant from Dave Lanzer, director of operations at West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. The grant will be used to establish an endowed scholarship at the college.

The foundation for a global manufacturer is recognizing Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to the skilled workforce with an endowed scholarship at the school.

The Herman O. West Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to Penn College to establish the scholarship. Named in honor of the founder of West Pharmaceuticals Services Inc., the foundation has supported employees through scholarships and matching gift programs since 1972.

West Pharmaceutical Services is a leading manufacturer of packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs and health care products. The company has manufacturing plants throughout the world, including Williamsport and Jersey Shore.

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Eight Penn College Students Medal in National Competition

SkillsUSA

Eight students from the widest variety of academic majors ever to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at the National Leadership and Skills Conference returned home with medals – including first-time successes in three competitive areas.

The contingent took one of three top places in five categories, and this year marked the first time that Penn College entrants medaled in Computer Programming, TeamWorks and Welding Sculpture.

“This really goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college. This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the national competition,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “The national skills competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology.”

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College’s Baja Team Finds Victory, Validation in Illinois

Team members standing in front of a massive Caterpillar D11 bulldozer manufactured nearby are (from left) Mark A. Turek, Travis Scholtz, Darian P. Trego, Shujaa AlQahtani, Trevor M. Clouser, Logan B. Goodhart, Nathan M. Eckstein, Johnathan T. Capps, John D. Kleinfelter, Matthew J. Nyman and Clinton R. Bettner. Not pictured are Michael A. Oldroyd-Costello and faculty adviser John G. Upcraft.

Capps drives the #93 car to another commanding Penn College finish.

Penn College’s Baja SAE team turned in another fifth-place performance during an endurance competition in Illinois on Saturday, duplicating last month’s impressive effort in Kansas and finishing a personal-best ninth in the overall standings. “We had another flawless race,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of manufacturing and machining and adviser for the college’s Baja SAE Club. “The team is pretty darned happy!” (The top four endurance teams were San Diego State University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Akron and Oregon State University, respectively.) Not that there weren’t issues. The mud that marked the Pittsburg, Kansas, race was replaced by heavy winds and dust at the Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center in Peoria. What’s more, the transponders didn’t work during the live stream, causing an inaccurate leaderboard until the manual trackside count properly credited the team for all 59 of its laps. “But we didn’t wreck and nothing on the car broke. And for the first year,  some top teams told my guys what a good job they’re doing. This is a real engineering competition, and we haven’t always been as strong as we’d like in that area; we’re slowly getting there, and people are recognizing us as a top team.” On the basis of its finish, Penn College wins entry to the first race of next season. The college will be represented by the No. 9 car at Baja SAE Maryland, scheduled for April 26-29 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Watch PCToday for more on the Baja SAE team’s phenomenal finale to its season.
Photos provided

Penn College Records Top-5 Finish in Global Off-Road Race

Members of the Penn College team proudly pose with their car after finishing fifth out of 107 schools in the four-hour endurance race at Baja SAE Kansas. From left are: John G. Upcraft, faculty adviser; Logan B. Goodhart, of Chambersburg; Mark A. Turek, of Red Lion; Jonathan R. Sutcliffe, of Orangeville; Matthew J. Nyman, of Lock Haven; Johnathan T. Capps, of North Wales; Trevor M. Clouser, of Millmont; Shujaa AlQahtani, of Saudi Arabia; Darian P. Trego, of Mifflinburg; and Clinton R. Bettner, of Beaver Falls.

A determined group of Pennsylvania College of Technology students overcame the elements and 100-plus other schools for a strong showing in the marquee event of a renowned international competition.

Penn College placed fifth out of 107 teams in the four-hour endurance race at Baja SAE Kansas. The Society of Automotive Engineers event in Pittsburg, Kansas, required students to design and build a single-seat, off-road vehicle to survive various performance challenges.

“Things could not have gone better. I am happy for the students. All their hard work paid off,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of manufacturing and machining and adviser for the college’s Baja SAE Club. “For a new car – with a new drivetrain and a new driver – and nothing broke, I’m quite pleased how things ended up.”

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Last updated May 31, 2017 | Posted in Automated Manufacturing & Machining, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Students | This gallery contains 8 photos. | Tagged as | One Comment

Presidential Road Trip Ensures Wildcats’ Spot in Grad Lineup

Evan M. Woods (left) and Kyle H. Fox receive their diplomas Sunday from President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Two Penn College baseball players, unable to attend commencement due to North Eastern Athletic Conference playoffs in Lewisburg, were awarded their diplomas prior to Sunday’s championship game. President Davie Jane Gilmour traveled to Bucknell University’s Depew Field, where the Wildcats –  including catcher Evan M. Woods, of Clymer, New York, and pitcher/infielder Kyle H. Fox, of Fleetwood – were set to take on Penn State Berks in the tournament finale. Woods graduated with high honors and an associate degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; Fox graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology.
Photo by Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer 

Five Students Receive Scholarships Through Gene Haas Foundation

A grant from the Gene Haas Foundation allowed Penn College to provide scholarships to five students in manufacturing-related majors. From left are recipients Trevor M. Clouser, a manufacturing engineering technology student from Millmont; Cole R. Yost, a manufacturing engineering technology student from Sugarloaf; Matthew R. Swartz, a manufacturing engineering technology student from West Hartford, Connecticut; Joseph A. Eirmann, a machine tool technology student from Bellefonte; and Hunter M. Zill, an automated manufacturing technology student from Hanover, with Richard K. Hendricks, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing.

Five students in manufacturing-related majors are the beneficiaries of a $20,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The foundation, established in 1999 by the owner of Haas Automation Inc., furnishes scholarship grants to institutions that provide education and training in CNC (computer-numeric controlled) machining.

Penn College selected five students to receive scholarships of $4,000 for the 2016-17 academic year. Requirements were full-time enrollment in one of the college’s four automated manufacturing and machining majors, and demonstrated financial need.

The recipients are Trevor M. Clouser, a manufacturing engineering technology student from Millmont; Joseph A. Eirmann, a machine tool technology student from Bellefonte; Matthew R. Swartz, a manufacturing engineering technology student from West Hartford, Connecticut; Cole R. Yost, a manufacturing engineering technology student from Sugarloaf; and Hunter M. Zill, an automated manufacturing technology student from Hanover.

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Penn College Students Prep for International Competition

Logan B. Goodhart, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Chambersburg and president of Penn College’s Baja SAE Club, makes a part for the car the students will enter later this month at Baja SAE Kansas. The international competition tasks students with building a single-seat, off-road vehicle to face various performance challenges.

While most of their classmates were celebrating the end of finals, a dedicated group of Pennsylvania College of Technology students remained ensconced in a machining lab, laboring on a project begun last summer. Their “exam” will be 1,100 miles from campus in late May.

The students are completing a new single-seat, off-road vehicle to compete against 100-plus colleges from around the world at Baja SAE Kansas. The Penn College contingent hopes to build upon past success during the May 25-28 Society of Automotive Engineers event at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.

“The commitment these students have shown is remarkable,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of manufacturing and machining and adviser for the college’s Baja SAE Club. “For months, they have dedicated countless hours outside of class to building the car. I am very proud of their efforts.”

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Penn College Students Bat a Thousand in SkillsUSA Competition

SkillsUSA-Pennsylvania

All 25 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team, including more than half moving on to national competition June 19-23 in Louisville, Kentucky, were medalists during the Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held late last month in Hershey.

Fifteen team members advanced to nationals with first-place finishes, seven placed second, and three placed third in their respective categories.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “I’m excited for the students going to the national competition in Louisville. I have every confidence they will put their best performance forward.”

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On This Four-Wheeled Weekend, All Roads Lead to Penn College

Sean M. Hunter, of Livingston, N.J., knowledgeably leads an AACA tour group through the College Avenue Labs automotive restoration facilities.

A campus with one of the nation’s oldest continuing automotive programs was a fitting venue for a pair of events: a Saturday car show sponsored by the Classic Cruisers Club and the Penn College Motorsports Association, followed by a Sunday visit from members of the Hershey Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America.

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Last updated April 23, 2017 | Posted in Automated Manufacturing & Machining, Events, Faculty & Staff, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies | This gallery contains 1 photo. | Tagged as |

Penn College Adding Metal Fabrication Degree

Welding is one of the components of the new metal fabrication technology major set to launch this fall at Penn College.

A manufacturing-related major promoting versatile, recession-proof skills is being added to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s academic portfolio this fall.

The new metal fabrication technology associate degree will furnish students with well-rounded skills in welding, machining and sheet metal fabrication. The result will be graduates possessing a unique technical skill set attractive to industry.

“There is a huge deficit of young people working in welding and machining,” said David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies. “In the past couple months alone, I’ve had at least a half dozen companies contact me looking for students who have such a skill set. There are going to be great employment opportunities for graduates.”

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University