penn college plastics workshop

Thomas Horn (foreground), of Cardinal Systems Inc. in Schuylkill Haven, gets some hands-on exposure to Pennsylvania College of Technology's injection molding lab during a Summer 2021 Plastics Materials, Processing, and Testing workshop on the college's main campus in Williamsport. The photo was taken before the college instituted an indoor masking protocol for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Penn College considers its Plastics Innovation and Resource Center to be one of international recognition. A summer plastics workshop confirmed a national appeal, drawing industry professionals from seven companies across three states - Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Penn College is one of six institutions nationwide offering plastics degrees that are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. 

The 11 registrants from seven companies attended a three-day Plastics Materials, Processing, and Testing workshop through the Innovation Center. During the workshop, participants explored polymer science by learning about the science behind polymers and the five major industrial processes used in plastics and manufacturing: extrusion, injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding, and rotational molding.

The well-received mix of classroom lectures and interactive lab sessions was taught by alumnus/instructor Joshua J. Rice. Hands-on instruction showed how to determine properties such as melt index, tensile strength, and impact resistance.

“I learned more about different types of materials and their principles and how they work. Also, injection molding troubleshooting with fill/pack and hold,” commented Tracy E. Weidner, injection mold mechanic for B. Braun Medical, Allentown.

"It was great coming back to my alma mater to further develop my knowledge and skills in my career," adds Catherine Weatherman, Penn College alumna and product and process engineer/quality assurance for Cardinal Systems Inc., Schuylkill Haven.

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