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Rotomolding Pros Share Perspective at Hands-On Workshop

Marking a decade of intensive staff development for rotational-molding professionals, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center recently hosted more than two dozen employees in another of its renowned industry conferences.

A total of 27 people from 15 companies – representing eight states and Alberta, Canada – attended the 10th annual Hands-On Rotational Molding and Advanced Materials Workshop on the college’s main campus on May 22-23.

Participants in the 10th annual Hands-On Rotational Molding and Advanced Materials Workshop take turns in Penn College’s polymer testing lab with Noah L. Martin (in checked shirt), of South Williamsport, a student and Plastics Innovation & Resource Center research assistant.
Participants in the 10th annual Hands-On Rotational Molding and Advanced Materials Workshop take turns in Penn College’s polymer testing lab with Noah L. Martin (in checked shirt), of South Williamsport, a student and Plastics Innovation & Resource Center research assistant.

“Coming from the world of metals, this course has taught me vital skills to succeed in this industry,” said Charlie Harrell, product development engineer for MODRoto in Madison, Indiana. “I did not know much coming into the course, but (it) has given me the power to progress!”

Participants learned from acknowledged experts in the field, including Paul Nugent, of MNOP Consulting in Reading, and Jerry Ramsey, president and owner of Akro-Plastics in Kent, Ohio.

Workshop attendees get small-group attention from Jerry Ramsey (left), president and owner of Akro-Plastics, and Anthony P. Wagner, of Williamsport, a Penn College student and Plastics Innovation & Resource Center research assistant.
Workshop attendees get small-group attention from Jerry Ramsey (left), president and owner of Akro-Plastics, and Anthony P. Wagner, of Williamsport, a Penn College student and Plastics Innovation & Resource Center research assistant.

Additional instruction was provided by Gary E. McQuay, from Penn College’s plastics faculty; and Brennan B. Wodrig, PIRC laboratory supervisor and project coordinator. They were joined by students Noah L. Martin, of South Williamsport; Wilson R. Michael, of Hughesville; and Anthony P. Wagner, of Williamsport – all enrolled in plastics and polymer engineering technology while working as PIRC research assistants.

“Being a new member of the rotational molding family, I felt I had a lot of catching up to do to meet the requirements of my employer,” noted Theresa Kortea, manufacturing supervisor for Fibertech Inc., in Elberfeld, Indiana. “This class has taught me so much in a short time. I am able to return to work with a new confidence and knowledge base that I am excited to use!”

Brennan B. Wodrig, PIRC laboratory supervisor and project coordinator, offers a primer on material preparation in the college's industrial process facility.
Brennan B. Wodrig, PIRC laboratory supervisor and project coordinator, offers a primer on material preparation in the college’s industrial process facility.

Co-worker Michael Ernst, a second-shift supervisor for Fibertech, offered a similar endorsement: “Even with six-plus years’ experience in the rotomolding field, the (workshop) was able to not only fine-tune what I already know, but also greatly expand my knowledge for the progression of the company I work for.”

Such comments were echoed by a number of their colleagues, who participated in lessons on molding with temperature and pressure control, parts testing, bubble formation and removal, cooling methods, material preparation, shrinkage and warpage, and parts testing.

Industry representatives gather with their colleagues and workshop presenters outside the college's Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. (Photo provided)
Industry representatives gather with their colleagues and workshop presenters outside the college’s Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. (Photo provided)

Penn College is one of six institutions in the country offering degree programs in plastics that are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET.

For information on the majors within the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

The Plastics Innovation & Resource Center is one of the premier 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.

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.

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