Erie, Pa. — Beaumont Technologies Inc. has moved into a 40,000-square-foot building that links the firm's education efforts through the American Injection Molding Institute, research, materials characterization, simulation expertise and real-world part design and molding.
Beaumont Technologies had two exhibits at NPE2018: a main one and another one highlighting Moldflow material characterization, test specimen molding, with full documentation of the molding conditions, and the firm's proprietary Therma-flo material characterization system and software.
John Beaumont, who founded the company and entered the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2015, said Beaumont Technologies is dedicated to integrating several disciplines.
"We're tying education directly with applied research. Education, research and industry under one roof. There's no model like that in the world," he said.
Beaumont Technologies, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, held an open house April 19 at its new headquarters. The facility in Erie, Pa., equipped with an underfloor tunnel carrying utilities to the injection presses, was built as an injection molding factory that housed custom molder Omni Plastics Inc., then EG Industries. EG moved out of the building last year and Beaumont Technologies moved in.
Beaumont moved from a 12,000-square-foot building. John Beaumont, a professor and former chairman of Penn State Erie's Plastics Engineering Technology program, founded the company in 1998 at an incubator space at the college.
The new facility has 13 injection molding machines; three in an AIM training area and 10 in the molding lab. Brands include KraussMaffei, Arburg, Sodick, Toyo, Nissei and Boy.
Beaumont Technologies today has three separate but interrelated businesses: the AIM, which provides education for engineers, technicians and management; Beaumont Development, which handles molding simulation and product design consulting; and Beaumont Advanced Processing, which does material characterization for Moldflow and others and helps customers develop new products, including by doing short-run molding.
Sharing research with the industry is a key feature, John Beaumont said. And it helps keep the educational efforts stay current. Complacency is not good, he said.
"What we're looking is to advance the industry, not just pushing one idea. We want to challenge everything that these guys [in industry] are doing and that we're doing also," he said in an interview at the open house in Erie. "Challenge it. Apply it in commercial applications. Learn from that. So, we close that loop. This is the umbrella of who we are. And then we share it with the outside world. And that's what we're doing. And then we share it through our teaching, our training."
AIM students get involved with some of the research, and they benefit.
"The AIM Institute does two things: both education and research," he said. "So, I modeled it very much like a university, where, if you're not doing research, you're just repeating what everybody else is doing. So, we built AIM so we continue to research and challenge things."