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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

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

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

TPMG2022 Brands


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