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Manufacturing

Keeping manufacturing alive

By Russ Olexa

August 2009 - South Texas College, McAllen, Texas, doesn't leave an education in manufacturing to chance. It offers extensive training through its precision manufacturing technology program, and it's also the only college in Texas accredited to certify students and workers in standards by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc., Fairfax, Va.

NIMS was formed in 1995 and has developed skills standards in 24 operational areas in metalworking that range from stamping to roll forming to machine building and maintenance. NIMS standards range from entry to a master level, and all are industry-written and -validated.

Healthy competition
To make sure its students are on task with their skills, in May, South Texas College had its annual dual-enrollment precision manufacturing technology competition to give area students a way to compare their abilities. Students from several high school districts participated in the competition, all of whom take precision manufacturing technology courses through the college's dual-enrollment program.

"The competition really gives students the knowledge of where they stand in our classes and how quickly they would perform in a real-life work situation," said Felix Guerrero, precision manufacturing technology instructor at South Texas College, in a press release. "And it reinforces the message to students that precision manufacturing technology is about more than just machining. Our program opens up venues in the workforce for many different career options, from machining to precision manufacturing to CNC operations to turning--or even custom metal design. Some of our students have gone on to design their own molds or even make custom tire rims or jewelry. We give students the skills to come up with ideas and make them realities, no matter what they choose to do in the workforce."

More than 30 students demonstrated their skills with lathes, mills and CNC machines, as well as their knowledge of metallurgy, AutoCAD and Inventor.

"At first, when I started the program, it was very confusing, but now I am having a lot of fun," Sara Ramirez, a senior at Rio Grande City High School, said in a press release. "I am just a year away from earning an associate degree in the field. I would recommend the program to anyone because of the many advantages you gain."

Ramirez placed second in the machining competition, and she hopes the summer internship she secured will lead to a full-time job.

"We are very proud of the skill level the students demonstrated, especially given that they are still in high school," said Pedro Garza, chair of South Texas College's precision manufacturing technology program, in a press release. "The caliber of courses taught through our dual-enrollment program is preparing students to graduate high school with marketable skills and ensure that they are prepared to enter study in high-paying fields such as engineering, precision manufacturing, or any math or science."

Wide reach
In addition to its precision manufacturing technology program, the college offers training through its Institute for Advanced Manufacturing in areas such as leadership skills, precision manufacturing, welding and facilities maintenance.

South Texas College is also the lead agency and headquarters for the North American Advance Manufacturing Research & Education Initiative, which also supports the development of rapid-response manufacturing. FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc.

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. Rolleri USA Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss UFP Industrial

PRESS BRAKES

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

AMADA AMERICA, INC. BLM Group
Tishken Advanced Gauging Technologies Automec Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

MC Machinery Systems Inc.

WATERJET

Mayfran International Cincinnati Inc. SafanDarley Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

LVD Strippit

PUNCHING

Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation Scotchman Industries Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Trilogy Machinery Inc.

SAWING

WELDING

Osborn

METAL FORMING

Behringer Saws Inc. American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Cosen Saws Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers MetalForming Inc. DoALL Sawing T. J. Snow Company

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

HE&M Saw

 

Beckwood Press Co. Titan Tool Supply Inc. Savage Saws

 

Triform

 

 

 


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