Equipment Donation, State Grant Help to Furnish Lab

Published 10.02.2007

Corporate Relations
Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology

From left%3A Randall L. Moser, instructor of electronics, Pennsylvania College of Technology%3B Jeff Krebs, Allen Bradley%2FRockwell Automation%3B Richard J. Calvert, assistant professor of electronics, Penn College%3B and Michael Eyer, Schaedler Yesco Distribution Inc.A donation of equipment from a Harrisburg-based electronics distributor has allowed Pennsylvania College of Technology to also receive a $75,000 equipment grant from the state toward furnishing new electronics and computer engineering technology laboratories with the latest industry-standard equipment.

The donation by Schaedler/Yesco Distribution Inc., local distributor of Rockwell/Allen Bradley equipment, helped Penn College meet the matching-funds requirement for the grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, through the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp.

The new equipment includes a motion control system made up of 12 Allen-Bradley GMS ControlLogix control stations, six of which were donated by Schaedler/Yesco and the other six purchased with grant funds. The control stations provide the computing power to operate an automated-manufacturing system by interfacing to motor controllers, sensors, values, pumps, conveyers and other such devices, and by connecting to other devices.

The motion control system also includes four Allen-Bradley 6000 Servo Systems with TL Motors and a SERCOS Module, two of which were donated by Schaedler/Yesco and the other two purchased with grant funds. The units include a motor controller to control the direction, speed, torque and position of a motor, and two motors to provide power to the automated manufacturing processes.

The state grant will also allow the college to install a "racetrack" conveyor system. Students will program the new motion control system to control the conveyor, which moves a variety of parts around a circular track during the manufacturing process. The ControlLogix station controls the speed of the conveyor system and interfaces with sensors on the system to count and inspect items moving on the conveyor.

The new system makes its home in the college's industrial process control laboratory and will be used by robotics and automation classes. The same Allen-Bradley equipment is used widely by manufacturers in the United States, and the equipment reflects the newest models being installed at plants.

"The students will go out on the job and see the exact same equipment," said Randall L. Moser, instructor of electronics.

Schaedler/Yesco representative Michael Eyer said the new system in the industrial process control laboratory addresses a concern his company hears from employers on a regular basis: Positions are available, but qualified applicants are hard to find.

"Schaedler/Yesco and Rockwell Automation are pleased to support Penn College's focus on the needs of local industries by offering courses on control platforms predominately used in our local industrial community," said Eyer."We believe this kind of project is precisely the bridge neededbetween those openings and the skills necessary to win them."

The state grant to Penn College was part of $2.7 million in grants the state awarded to more than 30 schools to ensure that job-training facilities have the state-of-the-art equipment necessary to provide students with the relevant, advanced skills needed to succeed.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University, committed to applied technology education. With more than 6,500 students enrolled in bachelor-degree, associate-degree, and certificate majors, Penn College has the second highest enrollment in the Penn State system.

For more information about Penn College's electronics and computer engineering technology majors or other academic programs offered by the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies, visit online or call (570) 327-4519. For general information about the college, visit on the Web or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

For more information about making a donation to support students at Penn College, call the Institutional Advancement Office at (570) 320-8000, or toll-free (866) GIVE-2-PC; or e-mail .

For more information about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact the Grants and Contracts Office at ext. 7562 or through its Web portal.