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Penn College hosts workshop for plastics professionals

Plastics professionals from throughout the country sharpened their skills and enhanced their knowledge at a recent workshop hosted by Pennsylvania College of Technology and its acclaimed Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.

The Rotational Molding & Advanced Materials Workshop offered a mix of lecture and hands-on instruction for 30 individuals representing 11 states and numerous companies. Seventeen attended the two-day course in person, and 13 participated remotely.

R. Dru Laws (left) an industry leader and operations expert from Idaho, delivers a lecture during the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center’s recent Rotational Molding & Advanced Materials Workshop attended by in-person and remote students. The remote learning station (seen in background) was wheeled from the classroom to various break-out sessions in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s plastics labs.
R. Dru Laws (left) an industry leader and operations expert from Idaho, delivers a lecture during the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center’s recent Rotational Molding & Advanced Materials Workshop attended by in-person and remote students. The remote learning station (seen in background) was wheeled from the classroom to various break-out sessions in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s plastics labs.

R. Dru Laws, an industry leader and operations expert, served as workshop presenter. Laws is CEO of Halltech Systems in Rexburg, Idaho; a senior member of the executive team for Titan Fuel Tanks & Tango Manufacturing in Idaho Falls, Idaho; and past president of the Association of Rotational Molders.

Penn College facilitators included Brennan B. Wodrig, PIRC program manager; Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC project manager; and Gary E. McQuay, part-time instructor of plastics and polymer technology.

Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development, opened the workshop by thanking the event’s platinum sponsor: M. Holland Co. in Northbrook, Illinois.

In addition to practical lessons in rotational molding, the workshop highlighted the connection between material preparation, molding and final part quality. Participants were also exposed to the latest materials and industry advancements.

The course earned rave reviews.

“This workshop has given me the knowledge and tools to be able to troubleshoot issues at my company. It was extremely useful coming from a non-plastics background,” said Sean Mazuchowski, quality engineer for Dutchland Plastics in Oostburg, Wisconsin.

“It discussed many of the molding problems we face every day,” noted Ron Zastrow, director of manufacturing for The Metal Ware Corp. in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Brennan B. Wodrig, program manager of the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, leads a workshop titled “Molding with Temperature & Pressure Control” in the Shell Polymers Rotational Molding Center of Excellence at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Brennan B. Wodrig, program manager of the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, leads a workshop titled “Molding with Temperature & Pressure Control” in the Shell Polymers Rotational Molding Center of Excellence at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“Great course. Not only learned a lot during the course from the instructors but also through discussion with others in the class,” added Jeremy Groves, master mold maker for CFS Brands in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The PIRC is one of the top plastics technology centers in the nation for research, development and education related to injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming. To learn more, call 570-321-5533.

Penn College is one of six institutions nationwide offering plastics degrees that are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. Students may seek a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology or an associate degree in plastics and polymer technology.

For information about those and other majors within the School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. Email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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