Skip to main content

Plastics Professionals Converge on Penn College Campus

Plastics professionals representing 13 companies, nine states and Canada attended the Eighth Annual National Hands-On Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.

Mark Strachan, senior technology director for First Quality Packaging Solutions in West Palm Beach, Florida, and former chairman of the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division, served as keynote instructor for the 24 participants. Penn College faculty and staff assisted Strachan throughout the three-day workshop.

Mark Strachan (in green shirt), senior technology director for First Quality Packaging Solutions in West Palm Beach, Florida, and former chairman of the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division, reviews results of a temperature change with participants at the Eighth Annual National Hands-On Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop at Penn College’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.
Mark Strachan (in green shirt), senior technology director for First Quality Packaging Solutions in West Palm Beach, Florida, and former chairman of the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division, reviews results of a temperature change with participants at the Eighth Annual National Hands-On Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop at Penn College’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.

Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics and polymer technology, presented “Materials & Extrusion,” and Joseph E. LeBlanc, assistant professor of physics, led a session on “Heating the Sheet and Cooling the Part.”

PIRC staff Christopher J. Gagliano, program manager of the Thermoforming Center of Excellence; Gary E. McQuay, engineering manager; and Brennan B. Wodrig, laboratory supervisor and project coordinator, contributed to the lab sessions along with student research assistants Casey A. Curtin, of Berwick, and Jeremy M. Dorward, of Muncy. Curtin and Dorward are plastics and polymer engineering technology majors.

Participants received hands-on experience with the college’s new thin-gauge thermoforming machine, purchased with grant funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Brentwood Industries, the SPE Thermoforming Division and the SPE Foundation. Solar Products, Tray-Pak Corp. and Tooling Technology donated parts for the machine.

Attendees’ testimonials bestowed praise on the workshop instructors and facilities.

“Very satisfied with all aspects of this workshop, and it has provided our company with a thorough understanding of cutting-edge thermoforming technology and practices at a great value,” said Adam Gagne, mechanical/manufacturing engineer for Allurion Technologies in Natick, Massachusetts.

“Great workshop with fun along the way. Instructors are very knowledgeable. Everyone new to thermoforming should attend this workshop,” said Anthony Marable, supervisor for Plastic Ingenuity in Oxford, North Carolina.

“Workshop was extremely helpful at learning some of the idiosyncrasies of the fundamentals of thermoforming,” said Robert De La Rosa, project engineer for Dart Container in Leola.

“I found it very useful, especially being new to thermoforming,” said Lester Yarnell, novelty/thermoforming/spoolmaking manager at CSS Industries in Berwick.

The PIRC is a globally recognized leader in plastics education and training. It supports industry growth by providing companies with customized training and access to resources available through Penn College’s academic programs and facilities. To learn more, call 570-321-5533.

Penn College is among just a handful of institutions nationwide offering plastics degrees that are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. For more about the plastics majors and other programs offered by the college’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Subscribe to PCToday Daily Email

Related Stories

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Student & Administrative Services Center will be renamed for retiring President Davie Jane Gilmour. The Penn College Board of Directors approved that honor – as well as “emeritus” status – for Gilmour, who is set to retire June 30 after 24 years as president of the special mission affiliate of Penn State.
Events

Administration building named for retiring college president

Read more
Six-time PGA Tour winner Rocco Mediate shows off his championship form during the recent 36th Annual Penn College Foundation Golf Classic. The event at the Williamsport Country Club raised a record $140,360 for student scholarships at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Events

Golf Classic raises record $140,000-plus for scholarships

Read more
Penn College students received six of the 32 scholarships awarded nationwide for the Fall 2022 semester by Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International.
Faculty & Staff

Penn College students receive manufacturing scholarships

Read more