ITAMCO donates Zeiss CNC

Published
September 15, 2014 - 07:00pm
Students from the Metalworking I class at the Precision Tool Manufacturing Training Program. From left to right: Trevor Roberts, Tanner Virgil, Luke Neidlinger, Blake Carbaugh, AJ Avery and William Penrod.

Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Cos. donated a Zeiss DuraMax coordinate measuring machine to the Precision Tool Manufacturing Training Program for students who attend Plymouth High School. The donation was announced at the 2014 International Technology Manufacturing show in Chicago. The new machine shows ITAMCO's continuing support for the program that Mark Neidig, purchasing manager at ITAMCO, proposed to the Plymouth School Corporation superintendent in 2013.

The 1-year-old ITAMCO Manufacturing Center on Plymouth High School's campus operates the training program. In addition, the North Central Area Vocational Cooperative, a high school education collective in Plymouth, and Ivy Tech Community College, with campuses in northwest Indiana, contribute to the program. NCAVC contributed funds to purchase equipment, and the program's trainer is an Ivy Tech employee. Students in the ITMACO program receive high school credit and Ivy Tech college credit.

ITAMCO provides open gearing and precision machining services and, like many manufacturers, needs skilled employees to operate their CNC equipment. Neidig said he initiated the program because the ITAMCO team wants to encourage high school students to enter rewarding careers in manufacturing. "We need to keep the USA at the forefront of innovative manufacturing," he said, "but we obviously have selfish motivations as well—we need skilled workers in our own facilities."

ITAMCO donated a DuraMax CMM because of the similarities to the Zeiss CMMs on its own shop floor.

"Our facility is better equipped than a typical machine shop and we want participants in the training program to be prepared to work on a plant floor like ours," Neidig said. Zeiss discounted the machine price, donated 12 educational licenses for its Calypso software and provided training for the manufacturing center's instructor.

Thirteen students took the Precision Machining I course during the program's first year. Three of the four seniors who took the course are now working at ITAMCO and the fourth works at another area manufacturer.

"The companies were pleased with our students' training because they were prepared to work on the shop floor," said Scott Kaser, instructor for the program and a certified CNC Machinist with over 25 years of experience as a machinist and trainer. "I was just like these kids. I didn't want to go to college but I wanted a good paying job. I like working with them and I enjoy our partnerships with local companies that want to hire them."

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.

  • precision machining ( precision measurement)

    precision machining ( precision measurement)

    Machining and measuring to exacting standards. Four basic considerations are: dimensions, or geometrical characteristics such as lengths, angles and diameters of which the sizes are numerically specified; limits, or the maximum and minimum sizes permissible for a specified dimension; tolerances, or the total permissible variations in size; and allowances, or the prescribed differences in dimensions between mating parts.

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