They are big, heavy and have the latest, most advanced technology. Now they are at Southwestern Illinois College.
Five high-end computerized numerical control machines were delivered Saturday,
Dec. 15 to the SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus Industrial Technology Center,
4950 Maryville Road.
The new equipment and expansion of the Precision Machining Technology and Welding programs were made possible by a $1.4 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant from the federal government. The first round of the grant was received in 2011.
“It’s been a long process but it’s well worth it because we’re doubling the number of our CNC machines,” said Industrial Technology Program Coordinator Mark Bosworth. “This will give our students more time at the machines as well as more time to do more advanced hands-on projects.”
Technicians used forklifts to place the five machines in the PMT lab.
Five other machines had already been installed over the course of the previous four years. The 10 CNC machines are worth more than $550,000.
In addition, the college will receive six new pieces of equipment for the Welding program and add two advanced certificates to provide the latest training opportunities to students seeking careers in the expanding manufacturing fields.
The new certificates are: Advanced CNC Programming and Advanced Welding Manufacturing.
Funding for these new certificates was received in 2011, when a $1.4 million grant was awarded to SWIC. This latest delivery was the second part of the TAACCCT grant. In total, the TAACCCT grant distributed $500 million to colleges across the country to enhance occupational programs.
“We’re very excited to be receiving this advanced manufacturing equipment which is the result of a year of planning and facility changes and upgrades,” said Technical Education Dean Brad Sparks. “The new equipment will set our machining and welding programs apart from others teaching similar technologies in our region.”
More than $510,000 in advanced welding machinery will arrive sometime in January, Sparks said.
“Training on live equipment that is used in industry makes our graduates extremely valuable as their learning environment closely mirrors that of our local manufacturers,” Sparks said.
For information about these machines or to inquire about attending courses in the Technical Education Division, contact 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 7420.