Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Wittmann Battenfeld Equipment Donations Empower Plastics Education

During 2011, Wittmann Battenfeld U.S.A. (Torrington, CT), which supplies injection molding machines, robotics, and a wide range of auxiliary equipment has made a serious effort to help advance plastics education programs across the U.S. It has donated state-of-the-art injection molding workcells to three separate plastics education programs so students would be learning about molding on the type of equipment they will encounter following graduation.

David Preusse, president of Wittmann Battenfeld U.S.A., called the donations “…an important part of who we are as a company,” and added that it helps plastics engineering programs train the next generation of the industry’s work force.

The company’s most recent donation, a new 45-ton ServoPower molding machine with a temperature control unit and material dryer also made by the Austria-based Wittmann Group, was being shipped to Nypro University at the end of November, according to Michael Kirschnick, manager of Wittmann Battenfeld’s injection molding machinery division. He said the ServoPower cell included an integrated Wittmann robot and that it will be used in Nypro’s RJG Master Molding Class as well as to train staff, customers, OEMs, and other molding professionals.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout’s (Menominie, WI) plastics engineering program, which includes a B.S. in plastics engineering, has been working with its new 55-ton all-electric Wittmann Battenfeld EcoPower machine for several months. The workcell, which includes a Tempro Plus C Series temperature control unit and a Drymax E30 material dryer, was demonstrated at a recent RJG Decoupled Molding Workshop in the school’s Technical Center. The workcell is valued at more than $100,000.

University of Wisconsin-Stout students with the school's new EcoPower injection molding system

U.S.A.

The EcoPower machine is provided with Battenfeld Web Training for home or workplace learning, featuring live teaching and discussion with experts and certification upon successful completion. Battenfeld Web Service is also a feature of the machine, so servicing can be done using remote diagnostics – no need for a service tech to call.

In the Plastics Applied Technology Center at Cerritos College (Norwalk, CA) you now find a Wittmann Battenfeld ServoMotion 65/210 molding machine at the center of a workcell that includes a Wittmann W811 robot, Drymax D30-50 material dryer, a Tempro temperature control unit, a Coolmax chiller, a granulator, and stand-alone material loader. It will be used not only by students but also by faculty and working professionals to improve their skills. Cerritos College is the only community college in California offering both certificate and degree programs in plastics.

Are these donations effective? Consider that several years ago Wittmann Battenfeld donated a W821 robot to Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, MI, complete with the company’s training materials. Today, what was an elective course is now a full-time molding automation course, and all three sections being offered next semester are fully booked.

Kirschnick said the company is glad it can help students learn on current generation machines, as it will benefit them and the companies they go to work for. A long-term veteran of the molding machine business who recently joined Wittmann Battenfeld, he sounded very pleased as he said the company continued its donation program even when orders picked up and customers were asking for accelerated deliveries.

University of Wisconsin-Stout Has Many Good Friends in Plastics 

Besides the recent donation of equipment by Wittmann Battenfeld U.S.A., Wisconsin-Stout has many friends in the plastics industry. In August 2010, the University received a donation of more than $1 million to fund a minimum of four scholarships annually in plastics engineering from Charlotte and Bob Janeczko, the owners of Innovative Injection Technologies (i2tech, Des Moines, IA). Mr. Janeczko is also an Executive Board Member of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association.

The Janeczkos met while both were attending Wisconsin-Stout and Bob Janeczko explained their reasoning for the donation this way: “If you’re successful, we believe you have an obligation to give back in a meaningful way. We made our money in plastics, and we’re glad to be able to help young people with a career in this great industry.”

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