Big Rapids, Mich. — Absolute Haitian Corp. is helping college students keep their distance in the plastics engineering lab at Ferris State University in Big Rapids.
The Worcester, Mass.-based machine builder shipped a 44-ton Zhafir Zeres electric press to the applied learning lab so students can meet social distancing requirements that continue some nine months into the pandemic.
The consigned ZE 400/120 let the university open an additional lab section with one student at each machine rather than two, reducing the number of lab partners.
Jason Holbrook, Absolute Haitian's Midwest regional sales manager, facilitated the delivery. He is a member of the Ferris State plastics engineering technology advisory board. Although stock machines are currently in high demand, Holbrook made the case for Absolute Haitian to send the press to the university as quickly as possible.
Tom Van Pernis, an assistant professor at Ferris, said the university put the machine to use right away for an advanced injection molding course.
"We had students running the molding machine the day after it delivered for six hours. Jason has been a great supporter of our program over the years," Van Pernis said.
In the spring, the Zeres will be used to teach a class featuring an introduction to injection molding. The electric machine has a hydraulic circuit dedicated to injection carriage movement, core pull, ejectors and valve gates, which gives students a chance to see both electric and hydraulic technologies in action.