A Training Facility to Envy

Hardinge high-performance
Hardinge high-performance machines at the ECAM Advanced Manufacturing Lab.

The newly opened Center for Energy Conservation & Advanced Manufacturing (ECAM) at the Milwaukee Area Technical College’s (MATC) Oak Creek, Wis., campus could very well be considered a model training facility for all technical colleges nationwide to emulate.

The $9 million, 34,000-sq-ft facility aims to meet the competitive challenges facing manufacturers and a broad array of other businesses. Along with teaching advanced skills to MATC students, ECAM trains incumbent employees to work efficiently as individuals and in teams through customized workshops, seminars, training, for-credit courses and certificates, and production skills credentialing.

Donations of money, technology and labor made the ECAM publicprivate venture possible. Project partners range from Fortune 500 companies to small manufacturing firms to local trade unions. And one of those partners, the Hardinge Group (www.hardinge.com), played a key role in stocking ECAM’s cutting-edge Advanced Manufacturing Lab with the latest in high-performance machine tools.

Terry Iverson, president of Iverson & Company (www.iversonandco.com), a partner with MATC and the distributor that sold the college its Hardinge and Bridgeport machines, recalled that the institution has always been far ahead of the curve. He said it offered a full CNC program as far back as 1983.

At that time, the college primarily purchased Hardinge toolroom lathes because the company’s product line was not as diverse as it is today – with the acquisitions of Kellenberger and Bridgeport.

As the result of MATC instructors approaching Iverson & Company at a local tradeshow and visiting the Hardinge facility in Elmira, N.Y., about six years ago, the partnership, as it is today, between the two companies and the college was established and more machines were purchased.

“MATC was looking for a builder that was not only diverse in products, but also on the cutting edge of technology. It also wanted an established distributor that had strengths in customer service and training. In addition, I suggested that Air Products would make another good partner because of that company’s work in cryogenic machining with its ICEFLY system packaged together with Hardinge RS-Series high-performance turning centers,” Iverson said.

For the ECAM center, MATC purchased:

Two Hardinge RS51 multitasking turning centers with live tooling and C and Y axes. One machine has a tailstock and the other a subspindle.

Two Hardinge Elite 8/51 turning centers with live tooling and C axes. Again, one machine has a tailstock and the other a subspindle.

One Bridgeport XR700 HMC horizontal machining center.

One Bridgeport XR 500 5AX five-axis machining center.

And, a Bridgeport XR 500 HSC high-speed (30,000 rpm) machining center. All the machines at MATC represent the highest end of technology. These are not stripped down basic models. They are the cream of the crop as far as the Hardinge Group’s high-performance level of machine tools is concerned.

“MATC focuses on the highest level of technology, and the ECAM center is a new resource that will further root MATC at the forefront of machining technology in the education sector. Its goal is to become the nation’s leading technical college,” Iverson said.

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