Helping San Jose State University in California purchase a thermoforming machine is just a start for the Brookfield-based Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoforming Division.
``Our mission is to promote the thermoforming industry, and education is a big part of that,'' said Joseph Peters, division chairman and president of Universal Plastics Corp. in Chicopee, Mass.
The group is using money from its yearly conference to finance matching grants of up to $10,000 each for colleges to purchase thermoforming equipment.
The first grant of $9,800 was made in February to allow San Jose State's School of Art and Industrial Design to buy an APM Frugal 24-by-24 machine. Peters said it replaces a school-built, hand-frame vacuum table and will be used primarily for three-dimensional design, sculpture and industrial design programs.
Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., is in line for the second grant, of $7,500. The school plans to buy a single-station, cut-sheet machine for courses in industrial plastics, advanced molding and plastics product design.
The SPE Thermoforming Division's annual conference and exhibition will take place Sept. 14-17 in Nashville, Tenn.