Penn College Hosts 10th Annual Extrusion Seminar

Published 05.28.2008

Polymer Engineering
Workforce Development

Chris Rauwendaal, world-renowned extrusion expert, presents to participants in the 10th Annual Extrusion Seminar and Hands-On Workshop at Pennsylvania College of Technology.Forty participants from nine states, Canada, Mexico and the Philippines recently visited Pennsylvania College of Technology for the 10th Annual Extrusion Seminar and Hands-On Workshop with world-renowned extrusion consultant Chris Rauwendaal and Penn College plastics professor Kirk M. Cantor.

The unique event, hosted by the Plastics Manufacturing Center at Penn College, combines the expertise of Rauwendaal with hands-on lab experience at the modern facilities of the college's Plastics and Polymer Technology Department, under the direction of Cantor.

Gary McQuay, Plastics Manufacturing Center project manager, teaches twin-screw compounding in the lab.In the workshop, Rauwendaal presented course topics in a multimedia format supplemented by printed materials, while Cantor led participants in hands-on training (approximately 50 percent of the course), including the use of extrusion-industry equipment such as a single-screw extruder, a twin-screw extruder, a blown film line, an injection molder, a melt indexer, a tensile tester and a capillary rheometer. Cantor is the author of "Blown Film Extrusion: An Introduction," published by Hanser Gardner Publications.

Twenty-five companies sent participants to the conference. States represented were Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

Paul Bostic, of SABIC Innovative Plastics, Exton, performs a melt index testFeedback from the participants included:

"Very informative. Dr. Rauwendaal's vast knowledge of the extrusion process is amazing. I've learned more than I expected and can't wait to put what I've learned to use back at my plant."

Don Beissel, team leader/supervisor, Quadrant EPP, Reading

"Within the first four hours, I learned important decision-making information that was immediately incorporated into our process controls that has made a huge positive impact from both an operational perspective and safety impact."

Denny Heuer, president, MacNeil Polymers, Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Those who participated will be able to return to their workplaces and make changes that will save their companies money in the long run. Besides the educational activities, networking events in Williamsport included a meal at 33 East, a trolley ride, a cruise on the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat and a special lunch in the college's Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

Additional plastics courses will be offered this summer, including "Introduction to Injection Molding," June 3-4; "Advanced Injection Molding," June 17-18; "Blow Molding," July 9-10; "Plastics Materials & Processing, July 16-17; and "Plastics Selection & Testing," July 23-24.

The Plastics Manufacturing Center at Penn College serves plastic-industry companies through training and projects (materials development, testing services and technical consulting).

For more information, or to register for upcoming courses, visit online .

Photos by Jessica L. Tobias, student photographer