The American Injection Molding Institute, located at Beaumont Technologies' headquarters in Erie, Pa., will offer a certification program in addition to a variety of development courses. The inaugural class is currently underway.
Courses are designed for a wide range of skill levels, including classes for engineering, technicians and management, with a focus on providing foundational knowledge, John Beaumont, president and CEO of Beaumont Technologies, announced. The certification program, spaced out over an approximately year-long period, is also available on a company-wide basis.
“In the industry today, you really don't have anything out there for practicing professionals that you can call education,” he said. “There's training classes … but if you want a higher-level education, foundational sorts of information, it's just not there.
“Most people today learn through osmosis. Most people in the plastics industry today really did not intend to be in the plastics industry — they have mechanical engineering, electrical engineering [degrees] — they may have all the different degrees, and they end up here and it's like, where do they learn? It's just from osmosis; there's nobody educating them.”
Beaumont, a former professor and program chair of the Plastics Engineering Technology program at Penn State Erie, drew from his 25-year experience in education in developing the institute.
“It's based a lot around what I did at Penn State,” he said. “The foundation of that program was built on the fact of no matter what your job is in the plastics industry … that you need to understand plastic materials, part design, mold design and processing. That's integral to the program we developed at Penn State, and that's integral to what we're doing [at AIM Institute].”
Establishing a foundational understanding enables professionals to exercise critical thinking, he explained.
“Critical thinking is the thing that oftentimes we miss,” he said during a news conference. “And critical thinking is the thing that, if we can have people walk out of this class and this program with this deeper understanding to apply critical thinking, then they're going to grow, they're going to accelerate, they're going to take beyond the sum of what we've delivered. Now they can increase the creativity; they can be more innovators rather than someone who just follows techniques.”
Courses at the AIM Institute are taught by instructors from Beaumont, joined by industry veterans
Instructors from Beaumont Technologies, including John Beaumont himself, will be joined by industry veterans Michael Sepe and John Bozzelli. Sepe has 40 years of experience in the plastics industry, focusing on injection molding and material testing, and has taught public courses at several universities, according to a bio provided by the AIM Institute. Bozzelli spent 20 years at Dow Plastics and specializes in resin characterization and analysis, and practical, hands-on injection molding training in a variety of materials.
“The thought was we wanted the best people, and you recognize that to do that, you need to reach outside of your walls,” Beaumont said of recruiting instructors beyond his own staff. “I didn't want to be constrained by people that had to be housed in our facility. And [Sepe and Bozelli] to me are leaders in the industry, and I was just thrilled that they wanted to be involved.”
Beaumont was just inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame Sunday.
The AIM Institute will operate as a subsidiary of Beaumont Technologies.