Batavia, Ohio-based Milacron Injection Molding and Extrusion continued its support of a strategic partnership with the plastics engineering technology program at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.
The builder of injection molding and extrusion systems donated equipment that was previously on loan, including a 55-ton MTs injection molding machine with a mold temperature controller, two conveyors and a dryer, and a 110-ton Roboshot Alpha-SiA-g injection molding machine with cell robot automation, temperature controller and dryer.
Milacron has been providing equipment and staff resources to the university since 2013 to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students pursuing careers in advanced manufacturing.
The partnership is one of many undertaken by machine builders and tooling manufacturers to meet the workforce and talent needs of the plastics industry.
Milacron officials said the SSU partnership is an important extension of educational opportunities for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math careers.
"Milacron values its long-standing partnership with Shawnee State University, and, with this donation, we hope today's STEM students will be empowered to be our future leaders," Milacron President Mac Jones said in a news release.
Jones is also a senior vice president of Hillenbrand Inc., which owns Milacron.
"Partnerships like the one with Shawnee State University are key to our ongoing company sustainability efforts, as well as helping meet the growing critical need for a skilled workforce in advanced manufacturing," Jones added.
The donated equipment allows students to create fully developed plastic parts, maintain machinery and troubleshoot problems. For their senior project, they design, build and produce their own plastic mold for a finished part, according to Adam Miller, SSU associate professor and department chairperson of engineering technologies.
"Milacron's continued commitment to our plastics engineering technology program furthers our mission to prepare students for the in-demand careers in plastics," Miller said. "We appreciate Milacron's partnership and this generous donation, which will continue to provide our students with hands-on experiences essential to future career success."
The SSU website says graduates of the plastics technology program are ready to work in attractive positions and locations in the industry as engineers in process, projects, technical sales, design, manufacturing and quality.
Milacron also offers students studying plastics engineering technology scholarships for tuition assistance. The funding serves as a recruitment tool, too, and promotes the STEM fields to incoming students.