To enable junior and senior high school students to follow a specific direction in the manufacturing industry, their education must be diverse. Ensuring such diversity is the goal of the Machine Technology Program at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, Brecksville, Ohio, according to Rich Parrott, machine technology instructor.
The program “provides them quite a number of opportunities,” he said. The center serves eight school districts in Cuyahoga and Summit counties and also offers adult education courses.
The RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) facility at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center includes a 3,500-sq.-ft. renovated machining lab and a 3,200-sq-ft. addition. Image courtesy Cuyahoga Valley Career Center.
The machine technology training includes CNC and manual machining, welding and fabrication, and robotics. That level of diversity will be enhanced thanks to a $1.5 million Straight A grant from the state of Ohio. CVCC reported that the grant will help fund its RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) facility, which includes a 3,500-sq.-ft. renovated machining lab and a 3,200-sq-ft. addition, and allow it to purchase updated CNC equipment, install more industrial robots and improve training facilities in the manufacturing and engineering program areas.
With employers looking for computer-literate workers, one skill the program teaches that is invaluable to parts manufacturers is debugging machining programs. Parrott explained that although a correct program for a specific machine tool arrives from the engineering or programming office, the program may not perfectly match the machine that is available or scheduled to produce a particular part. Therefore, students must know how to edit the code so the program functions properly on a specific machine. “By doing that, students try to get everything to where it’s a good first-run, proven program,” he said.
In addition to editing programs on the control, the classes teach students how to write programs both on the control and via CAD/CAM software. He added that once the code is sent to a machine, students also learn how to set tool and work offsets and run the first part.
About 20 to 24 juniors enter the program each year, with the vast majority completing the program in their senior year, Parrott said. Some of them also participate in internships or apprenticeships that could lead to a career opportunity with an area manufacturer after graduating. “We get students who go into the field and have a good, solid foundation for all the different manufacturing equipment.”
Related Glossary Terms
- computer numerical control ( CNC)
computer numerical control ( CNC)
Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.
Discipline involving self-actuating and self-operating devices. Robots frequently imitate human capabilities, including the ability to manipulate physical objects while evaluating and reacting appropriately to various stimuli. See industrial robot; robot.