MEXICO CITY — One of Mexico's leading plastics industry institutes has stepped up its efforts in education.
Instituto Mexicano del Pl stico Industrial recently opened Infoplas — short for Instituto de Formaci¢n y Capacitaci¢n en Pl sticos AC — a school to give hands-on, practical and technical training in plastics technology.
The school is in Mexico City, which is centrally located between the two poles of industrial activity — Naucalpan in the north and Iztapalapa in the east. It has a new injection molding machine for practice sessions, and a dismantled demonstration press so students can learn the machine's components.
IMPI claims the school is the only one of its kind in Latin America. Its goals are to raise the technical level of education in the industry, train current personnel and increase quality levels of production.
The center began operations April 20 with a basic, five-day course in plastics injection molding, said IMPI technical manager Carlos A. Gonzalez Montoya.
``There are three levels of programs. Basic is for machine operators, while medium and advanced levels are for supervisors, managers and executives,'' he said in a May 11 interview at the IMPI offices in Mexico City.
``The students were divided into two groups of 10, so that each student would have access to the machine in the practical session,'' Gonzalez said.
The school bought a new, 50-ton Demag press with eight molds that can run a variety of resins.
``Within the course, the tendency is to use all types of materials, from commodities like [polyethylene] and [polypropylene] to engineering resins like nylon, acetal or PET,'' Gonzalez said. Having several mold changes helps teach the students how to adjust the machine for different types of products, such as thick- or thin-walled items, he said.
In another session, students run a computer-simulated injection press before moving on to the real thing.
Machinery firm Avance Industrial SA, plastics research and quality control firm Tinuis Olsen SA de CV, and compounder BASF Mexicana SA de CV all of Mexico City provided trained personnel to help set up the program.
IMPI plans to open a plastics university.