Ferris State building elastomer center
BIG RAPIDS, MICH. — Ferris State University has a new National Elastomer Center in Big Rapids.
Two Washington-based trade associations, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the Rubber Manufacturers Association, donated $2 million in equipment, capital and workplace training stipends. The state of Michigan contributed $4.65 million.
Groundbreaking was Sept. 5 for the 26,500-square-foot building, which is next to Ferris State's Plastics Center.
Ferris State will offer two- and four-year degrees in elastomers. Classes will begin in fall 1998.
SPE arm helps fund mold-making lab
BERTRAND, MICH. — The I.T. Quarnstrom Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the Society of Plastics Engineers' Moldmaking and Mold Design Division, recently donated $20,000 to help construct a 34,000-square-foot building on Lake Michigan College's new campus at Bertrand, near the Indiana border.
The money will be used to build and equip a metalworking laboratory for plastics. The lab will include an injection press.
The facility will affect the quality and availability of a work force of more than 30,000 representing 450 metalworking and plastics firms in a nine-county area of southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana, said Gene Stemm, Quarnstrom secretary.
The college's main campus is in Benton Harbor, Mich.
Stemm, president of Hanson Mold in St. Joseph, Mich., said the building will be completed by fall.
Funding for the new $4.7 million Bertrand facility came from a $2.38 million grant from the state of Michigan and $2.6 million from 100 companies in the region.
The Quarnstrom Foundation is named for Ivar Quarnstrom, who founded Detroit Mold Engineering (now D-M-E) and originated the idea of standard mold bases.
UA Polymers invests in blow molded parts
AKRON, OHIO — Large-part blow molding is at a crossroads, and the University of Akron wants to take it down the right path.
UA's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, working with a consortium of six corporations, is promoting the development of a CD-ROM training program for large-part blow molding. Similar programs already exist for injection molding.
The firms have contributed seed money to help develop a program. Once the CD-ROM package is finished, members will receive three of the finished sets for $12,000.
``We're making more and more products on blow molding, but we all recognize that the industry is actually being held back because we don't have enough process technicians,'' said Ted Hill, manager of technical development at Rubbermaid Inc.Rubbermaid of Wooster, Ohio, is one of the firms pushing the idea.
Other companies in the consortium are Davis-Standard Corp., Ford Motor Co., Lear Automotive, Phillips Chemical Co. and the Edison Polymer Innovation Corp.
Companies interested in joining the consortium should contact Kent Marsden at the University of Akron at (330) 972-8508.
Battenfeld presses help Toronto students
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO—Battenfeld Canada Ltd. of Mississauga has donated three presses to Toronto-area educational institutions.
Battenfeld Canada delivered an 88-ton CDC injection press to the Canadian Plastics Training Centre, which holds classes for students seeking certification as a molding technician or operator.
The company sent a 55-ton all-electric injection molding machine and a 200-ton CDC injection press to the Industrial Research and Development Institute. Both of the machines are equipped with Battenfeld's Airmould system for gas-assisted molding.
SPI brochure targets middle, high schoolers
WASHINGTON — The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. has developed a new brochure to attract high school and middle school students to choose a career in plastics.
The splashy, MTV-style brochure includes brief job descriptions and salaries, and a description of the benefits of plastics. Copies are free to educators and others. Call (202) 296-5200.
Miss. public school forms plastic program
HATTIESBURG, MISS. — The University of Southern Mississippi is helping create a polymer program at Petal High School, where classes will be held in a new 6,000-square-foot Plastics and Polymer Science Building.
This fall, the school in Petal, Miss., began offering students two years of plastics and polymer science classes. The high schoolers have the option of three career paths after graduation: an entry-level job in plastics, an associate degree at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss., or entry into USM's four-year undergraduate program at Hattiesburg.
``We honestly feel like we have the only high school program of its scope in the nation,'' said Rodney Sessions, director of the Occupational Technology program at Petal schools.
Faculty members at USM-based Mississippi Polymer Institute and the university's Department of Polymer Science played key roles in developing the courses.The Delphi Package Electric factory in Clinton, Miss., donated a 15-ton injection molding machine to the school.
Students have responded to the program.
More than 60 students signed up for the initial classes, which had room for only 45.
Nypro Institute Online offers college credit
CLINTON, MASS. — Custom injection molder Nypro Inc. has created Nypro Institute Online.
Students take courses leading to a certificate program on the Internet at http://www.nyproinstitute.com.
Nypro Online is a joint venture of Nypro and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Mass. The molder already offers training for its employees and other firms' workers at the Nypro Institute, located at Nypro's Clinton headquarters.
The initial 10-course program leads toward a Plastic Processing Technology Certificate. Each course counts for three college credits.
Students choose from direct satellite feed or a modem.
For registration information, log onto the site or call (978) 365-9721, ext. 684.
Paulson Training Programs Inc. of Chester, Conn., has donated its 14-lesson interactive training package, Practical Injection Molding, to Ferris State University in Big Rapids.