Alabama college jumps on injection molding

By Frank Antosiewicz
Correspondent

Published: June 21, 2013 2:04 pm ET
Updated: June 21, 2013 2:19 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Education & Training, Automotive, Injection Molding

Estimating a need for more than 400 injection molding workers in northwest Alabama over the next two years, Northwest-Shoals Community College is fast-tracking an injection molding technology program that will start this fall.

The program comes at a time when two area automotive suppliers are planning to put up new facilities to support the efforts of North American Lighting Inc., an automotive headlamp and signal lamp manufacturer with a plant in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

“We’re excited — it definitely was industry driven. They came to us and said that they can’t find enough qualified people,” said Rose Jones, associate dean of workforce development at Northwest-Shoals.

She said leadership from the college and from local companies got together, talked about what was needed, visited a similar program in a nearby state and reworked it to meet their needs.

Jones said it took a matter of months, but they were able to find space on campus and already have built the framework to offer courses. They are still working out details but state, local industry and the community have been receptive to the program, which is approved by the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education.

 The short-term certificate program includes 27 credit hours of course work that can be completed in three semesters and includes cooperative experience requirements. It will cover such areas as mold setting, processing, 3-D modeling, hydraulics and pneumatics, and robotics.

The course is offered through the Machine Shop Technology program on the Shoals campus. Fall term begins Aug. 19.

“The auto industry throughout the U.S., and especially in the Southeast, is growing now and we want to facilitate the growth of this type of industry in this part of the state,” said Shoals Economic Development  Authority President Forrest Wright.

Wright noted that the program will help fuel the growth of firms like CBC Group, North American Lighting Inc., Tasus Corp. and Tri-Cities Manufacturing Inc.

Tasus, an auto supplier based in Bloomington, Ind., is building a $19 million, 104,000-square-foot plant in Florence, Ala., that is scheduled to open in October.

CBC plans to construct a $24 million plant adjacent to North American Lighting’s Muscle Shoals plant to injection mold parts for that company. It is expected to be completed in 2016.

Tri-Cities, in Tuscumbia, has been around since 1969, but has moved from being a Tier 1 automotive supplier to focus more on the motor-home industry, according to General Manager Don Sharp. It does molding and contract manufacturing. Tri-Cities has 15 injection presses with clamping forces up to 650 tons.

Sharp marveled at how quickly the program was set up and said it will help all local manufacturers.


Comments

Alabama college jumps on injection molding

By Frank Antosiewicz
Correspondent

Published: June 21, 2013 2:04 pm ET
Updated: June 21, 2013 2:19 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Jarden hiring for new plastics plant

December 19, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Consumer products conglomerate Jarden Corp. is hiring plastics technicians for a new operation in Erlanger, Ky.    More

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Sabic: Rapid demand growth led to Ultem shortage

December 18, 2014 12:06 pm ET

Sabic Innovative Plastics has been increasing production capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide but it still got caught short by increasing demand for ...    More

Auto supplier M-Tek relocating headquarters

December 18, 2014 3:37 pm ET

M-Tek Inc., a subsidiary of Japanese automotive supplier Kasai Kogyo Co. Ltd., will build a new North American corporate headquarters in Murfreesboro,...    More

Image

Indian auto parts maker set to buy assets in Germany, Mexico

December 18, 2014 10:35 am ET

Indian auto parts maker Samvardhana Motherson Gropup is buying the assets of insolvent German plastics car parts producer Scherer & Trier (S&T).    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events