Penn College thermoforming training enhances workforce

Published 06.26.2024

News
Workforce Development
PIRC
Polymer Engineering
Engineering Technologies

The polymer technology workforce received a boost, thanks to recent training hosted by the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The Hands-On Thermoforming Workshop covered the basics of thermoforming – one of the major industrial plastics processes – for 20 participants, representing 13 companies, seven states, Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The three-day session addressed a range of topics, including choosing the best forming technique, proper cooling methods, trimming options, troubleshooting and quality control. Mark Strachan, vice president of innovation and product development and co-owner of Italian-based OMV Technologies, led the workshop with Christopher J. Gagliano, director of the PIRC.

Mark Strachan (second from left, in red shirt) leads the Hands-On Thermoforming Workshop for industry professionals hosted recently by the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Twenty participants, representing 13 companies, seven states, Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago, attended the three-day session, which covered the basics of thermoforming.

The instructors used a mix of lecture, multimedia presentations and practical exercises on industry-standard equipment to deliver the training.

“The blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application was perfect,” said Ozlem Akdogan, who works for the Kraft Heinz Co. “Real-life examples made the long commute worth it!”

“I understood I was coming in at a beginning/introductory level, and the teaching of the fundamentals and principles helped a lot,” added Vanessa Escobar Acosta, of ExxonMobil Product Solutions Co.

Brandon Zechman, David Peterson and Markus Zlotosch from Kiefel Technologies served as guest speakers for the workshop along with Julie Griswold, of W.R. Sharples Co. Inc., and Darrell Stafford, of Catalysis Additive Tooling.

Assisting the event were Penn College polymer engineering technology faculty Kirk M. Cantor and Vii J. Rice, assistant professor of physics Joseph E. LeBlanc, as well as PIRC staff: Nathan A. Rader-Edkin, program manager; Chris S. Macdonald, training specialist; and Beth J. Zielewicz, program specialist.

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. To learn more, call 570-321-5533.

Penn College is one of seven institutions nationwide offering plastics engineering technology programs that are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology. Students may seek a bachelor’s degree in polymer engineering technology or an associate degree in polymer technology.

For information about those and other majors within the School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. Email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.