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Thermoforming Center of Excellence Again Hosts National Audience

Plastics employees from five states were schooled by industry experts and campus professionals when the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology held its sixth annual Heavy-Gauge/Cut-Sheet Thermoforming workshop in May.

The three-day course offered enlightening classroom presentations from several industry luminaries, as well as numerous hands-on sessions that covered operation and troubleshooting of thermoforming equipment, materials testing and introduction to new mold-making materials.

“Year after year, it is good to see that many companies across the country continue to invest in their employees and see the value in attending our workshops,” said Christopher J. Gagliano, program manager, Thermoforming Center of Excellence.

Christopher J. Gagliano (in front of equipment), program manager for the PIRC’s Thermoforming Center of Excellence at Penn College, leads a lab tour during a May workshop for industry professionals.
Christopher J. Gagliano (in front of equipment), program manager for the PIRC’s Thermoforming Center of Excellence at Penn College, leads a lab tour during a May workshop for industry professionals.

With tuition discounts for Society of Plastics Engineers thermoforming members, the workshop attracted 14 employees from eight companies in California, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Pennsylvania.

“This workshop provided me with technical knowledge and new forming methods that I was able to utilize immediately in my plant to improve both quality and efficiency,” said Rory Moore, vacuum forming supervisor at Peak Technology Enterprises in San Jose, California.

“Everyone was extremely well-versed and informative in their field,” added Donny B. Watts, production supervisor at Pro Form Plastics Inc. in Crothersville, Indiana. “The presentations were well-thought-out and easy to understand. I believe that what I learned will be put to very good use to myself and Pro Form Plastics Inc.”

Renowned presenters and panelists from the thermoforming community included James “Jay” M. Waddell, founding partner and key management principal, Plastics Concepts & Innovations LLC; Terrence Woldorf and Kathleen Boivin, CMT Materials; Vijay Kudchadkar, Compuplast; Roger C. Kipp, Roger C. Kipp & Associates; William “Bud” Foran, Heitronics; and Robert Vollmer, Thermwood Corp.

Among industry presenters are Terrence Woldorf ...
Among industry presenters are Terrence Woldorf …

Their expertise was supplemented by Penn College faculty Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics technology, and Joseph E. LeBlanc, assistant professor of physics; Gagliano; Gary E. McQuay, PIRC engineering manager; Ryan L. Newman, PIRC technician; and student research assistants Madison T. Powell, Jared W. Mahaffey and Ian C. Killian.

The event was facilitated by C. Hank White, PIRC director; Christy S. Allen, client development consultant, PIRC; JoAnn M. Otto, PIRC assistant; and Elizabeth J. Zielewicz, customer service assistant for Workforce Development & Continuing Education.

... and Kathleen Boivin, both of CMT Materials.
… and Kathleen Boivin, both of CMT Materials.

Penn College is one of only five colleges in the United States that offer degree programs accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET.

For information on the plastics majors in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies – a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology and an associate degree in plastics and polymer technology – call 570-327-4520.

The PIRC is one of the top centers in the nation for research, development and education related to the processes of injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming. Its Thermoforming Center of Excellence, opened in 2010 on the college’s main campus in Williamsport, will host a second workshop (focusing on Thin-Gauge Thermoforming) from June 23-25 with Mark Strachan, president of Global Thermoforming Training Inc., and special guest speakers.

To learn more about the PIRC, call 570-321-5533. For more about Penn College, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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