Plastics Professionals Converge on Penn College Campus

Published 05.27.2015

Polymer Engineering
Workforce Development
Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies News

The renowned Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology extended its expertise to plastics professionals throughout the country by hosting the seventh annual Hands-On Rotational Molding & Advanced Materials Workshop earlier this month.

With support from the Association of Rotational Molders and the Society of Plastics Engineers Rotational Molding Division, the PIRC’s workshop brought 31 individuals to campus, representing various sectors of the plastics industry and 11 states.

“It was tremendous to host diverse plastics professionals from throughout the country for this year’s workshop,” said Gary E. McQuay, PIRC engineering manager. “Attracting such talent on an annual basis speaks to the high quality of both the workshop and our plastics facilities at Penn College.”

Aided by student Madison T. Powell (left), a part-time Plastics Innovation & Resource Center research assistant,  Gary E. McQuay (right), PIRC engineering manager, preps attentive participants for the hands-on portion of the workshop.

Participants received training on higher-level technology in rotational molding. The two-day course offered classroom presentations and hands-on sessions connecting material preparation to molding parameters and final-part quality.

“The rotational molding and advanced materials workshop gave me an increased awareness of many nuances of rotomolding and will help me work with rotomold suppliers to design and procure quality parts,” said Trevor Bludis, of Novatec Inc. in Baltimore.

Marc Willma, of Elkhart Plastics Inc. in Middlebury, Indiana, said the workshop “showed very good descriptions of voids, bubbles and blowholes.”

Added Brian Steenbeke, of Brunk Corp. in Goshen, Indiana: “Excellent class. Very relevant.”

Workshop participants experience Penn College’s hands-on instruction, preparing powder for testing in the rotational molding lab. From left are Trevor Bludis, of Novatec, Baltimore; Margarito Lopez, of Total Petrochemicals USA, Deer Park, Texas; and Kimberly Kelley, of Inca Molded Products in Nashville, Tenn.

Rotational molding experts presenting at the workshop included Paul Nugent, Jerry Ramsey and Terry Gillian. Nugent wrote the book, “Rotational Molding: A Practical Guide,” and travels across six continents offering his expertise. Ramsey is owner of Akro-Plastics, a custom rotational molder in Kent, Ohio. Gillian is the founder and owner of Paladin Sales in Uniontown, Ohio, a firm representing manufacturers serving the rotational molding industry.

Jerry Ramsey, owner of Akro-Plastics in Kent, Ohio, shares his expertise in an adjacent lab.

The hands-on portions of the workshop featured the expertise of Penn College personnel. McQuay and John R. Bartolomucci, assistant professor of plastics & polymer technology, led lab experiences with support from Ryan L. Newman, PIRC technician, and research assistants Madison T. Powell, Jared W. Mahaffey and Ian Killian.

Additional PIRC support came from C. Hank White, director; Christopher J. Gagliano, program and technical service manager; Christy S. Allen, client development consultant; JoAnn M. Otto, PIRC assistant; and Beth Zielewicz, customer service assistant.

Penn College is one of just five colleges in the nation offering degree programs accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. For information on the plastics degrees and other majors offered by the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

The PIRC is one of the top plastics technology centers in the nation for research, development and education related to injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming. Its Rotational Molding Center of Excellence is a technical resource offering independent, hands-on applied research and development to the rotomolding community.

To learn more about the PIRC and the Rotational Molding Center of Excellence, call 570-321-5533.

For more about Penn College, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.