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

German injection molders Metz-Werke and Inotech to collaborate

August 21, 2014 11:47 am ET

German injection molding companies Metz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG and Inotech Kunststofftechnik GmbH have announced that they have joined forces to bring...    More

Image

Enor expanding in S.C., moving toy production to U.S. from China

August 20, 2014 4:01 pm ET

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has convinced toy producer Enor Corp. to expand U.S. production at the expense of sourcing from China.    More

Image

Venture Plastics adds 720-ton press

August 20, 2014 2:03 pm ET

Venture Plastics Inc. expanded its El Paso, Texas, custom molding facility in early summer to grow sales.    More

Image

Automakers look under the hood for the next lightweighting opportunities

August 20, 2014 1:06 pm ET

The automotive industry's current favorite target for lightweighting efforts is the powertrain, according to a recent survey.    More

Image

Cooper-Standard JV to focus on Asia

August 20, 2014 10:17 am ET

Cooper Standard Automotive Inc. is forming Cooper Standard Inoac Pte. Ltd. — a joint venture with Inoac Corp. of Japan — to expand the rea...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events