Extrusion training boosts industry knowledge, skills

Published 06.19.2024

Polymer Engineering
Workforce Development
Industry Connections
Faculty & Staff
During the recent Extrusion Seminar & Hands-on Workshop hosted by the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology, industry professionals work with a Leistritz twin screw extruder in an extrusion lab. The three-day training attracted 26 participants from 11 companies based in five states.

The first in a series of hands-on workshops being offered this summer and fall by the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology proved highly beneficial for 26 participants from 11 companies based in five states.

Led by prominent plastics experts, the three-day Extrusion Seminar & Hands-on Workshop provided attendees with a comprehensive overview of extruders and extrusion principles. The training was sponsored by West Pharmaceutical Services.

“This hands-on workshop and seminar has greatly expanded my knowledge on extruders, allowing me to better communicate with both operators and engineers,” said Jessica Kogler, of Carlisle Construction Materials LLC. “Additionally, I was able to connect formulation, physical properties and processing, giving me the ability to optimize current and new products.”

Headlining the early June event were world-renowned extrusion consultant Chris Rauwendaal, from Rauwendaal Extrusion Engineering in Auburn, California, and Kirk M. Cantor, Penn College professor of polymer engineering technology.

Course topics were presented in a multimedia format and featured hands-on training using extrusion industry equipment. Content covered included extruder hardware, polymer properties, screw design, extrusion die design, troubleshooting and twin-screw extrusion.

“As an engineer with a focus in mechanics and metallurgy, this plastics course has been an eye-opening experience!” raved Anthony Harkness, of Ward Manufacturing LLC. “Not only will this course help me with our small plastics department, but it has encouraged me to do my own personal research into plastics.”

Kirk M. Cantor (center), Penn College professor of polymer engineering technology, engages with industry professionals during the three-day extrusion training, the first in a series of hands-on workshops being offered by the PIRC this summer and fall.

Assisting the event were Penn College polymer engineering technology faculty Vii J. Rice, Adam C. Barilla, Jose M. Perez Jr. and Mark A. Sneidman, as well as PIRC staff: Christopher J. Gagliano, director; Nathan A. Rader-Edkin, program manager; Chris S. Macdonald, training specialist; and Beth J. Zielewicz, program specialist.

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, the PIRC provides technological resources to facilitate the growth and success of the plastics industry. The center features extensive material testing laboratories, industrial-scale process equipment and world-class training facilities, all with the support of highly-skilled training and consulting staff.

To learn more about the PIRC’s upcoming hands-on workshops and other training options, visit the center’s site, the PIRC office or call 570-321-5533.

Penn College offers a Bachelor of Science degree in polymer engineering technology and an Associate of Applied Science in polymer technology and is one of seven institutions nationwide accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.