LOWELL, MASS. — Milacron Inc. of Cincinnati has donated $400,000 worth of injection molding equipment in a unique arrangement to help students at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell learn on state-of-the-art machinery.
The Milacron Injection Molding Center was dedicated June 3 during ceremonies attended by university and company officials.
Under the arrangement, the company will help maintain the center through continuous consignment of new equipment.
``It's been difficult for us to update new equipment. Typically, we buy a new machine and then keep it 10 years,'' said Robert Malloy, professor of plastics engineering at UMass Lowell.
But the new arrangement will mean that the university will receive new machines about every two to three years.
The new center contains three machines — an all-electric Electra, with 85 tons of clamping force; an all-electric Prowler, a tie-barless machine with 90 tons of clamping force; and a more conventional, 120-ton Vista Sentry.
Fred Charpentier, Milacron national sales manager, said he and his company have been working with the university for the past 12 years. UMass Lowell started its program in 1954. Charpentier is one of four UMass-Lowell graduates working at Milacron.
Malloy promised that the machinery will get plenty of use. He estimates that 70-100 students are graduated each year from the school, which also holds a variety of seminars.
``It is a great recruiting tool for us,'' said Malloy, ``The lab is state-of-the-art and no doubt will make some students want to come into plastics.''