CVTC Stays on Cutting Edge in Technology
Staying on top of the latest technology is essential for Chippewa Valley Technical College in its mission to meet the workforce needs of the region. Every year CVTC upgrades technology in various program areas.
The Industrial Mechanic program has a new simulated manufacturing center that includes a Fanuc 24,000 rpm robo-drill and robotic arms that feed and unload the machine, assemble a product, perform a quality check, and pick up and deliver the products—all through automation. “This is going to allow us to have the same state-of-the-art technology that is powering our manufacturing plants today,” said Tim Tewalt, Industrial Mechanic program director.
The manufacturing center is set up to produce marketable products—for the first year, USB flash drives. Students learn to troubleshoot problems in the system, just as industrial mechanics do in the workplace. But they won’t have to wait for something to go wrong at random. “We can insert 80 to 100 faults in the manufacturing center that can cause problems for the students to react to,” Tewalt said.
The skills the students learn from the simulated center are essential at area companies like Bush’s Beans in Augusta, which must keep multiple automated production lines running simultaneously.
The Manufacturing Engineering Technologist program has a new Zeiss O-Inspect system used to inspect manufactured metal parts with amazing precision—measuring 250 data points per inch.
“It measures both by physical touch by a probe and a laser measurement system,” said lauren Van Beek, academic program specialist for Zeiss.
The company sold the equipment to CVTC at a greatly discounted rate, and also donated 40 software programs that cost thousands of dollars each. Zeiss really wants to support manufacturing education,” Van Beek said.
“CVTC is the first school in northwest Wisconsin to have this type of machine,” said instructor Paul Girolamo, who noted that local companies Phillips Medisize and W.S. Darley have such machines. “This technology is very important to lots of industries, particularly those manufacturing medical parts.”
The Manufacturing Engineering Technologist program provides training for those seeking a career in engineering and engineering technology in support of metal fabrication, plastics processing, and consumer products manufacturing and assembly. The Zeiss equipment will also be used by students in the new Mechanical Design program, as well as the Manufacturing Quality technical diploma program.