Jul 01, 2023
Ivy Tech Community College Advanced Manufacturing Labs Get Students 'Workforce Ready' — Muncie Journal
July 27, 2023 By Lesley DeVoss— MUNCIE, Ind. – The Advanced Technology Center is located at 4101 South Cowan Road in Muncie. The Center houses the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and
July 27, 2023
By Lesley DeVoss—
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Advanced Technology Center is located at 4101 South Cowan Road in Muncie. The Center houses the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science and the high-tech labs that support students entering the workforce, primarily in the manufacturing sector.
The School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science offers degrees and certifications in:
Each program has a dedicated lab space with state-of-the-art to provide students with hands-on learning experiences before entering the workforce. Students are required to know how to operate and repair the technology present in the labs. Instructors create or program faults in the machines that the students must discover, research, and repair to use the machines.
When a student enters the automotive program, they learn how to work on various types of vehicles, complete automotive repairs ranging from engine to chassis to tires. The lab has six bays with three two-post and three four-post lifts. Two of the lifts are drive-on alignment racks providing students with hands-on experience with industry standard equipment. There is an area set up for the complete tear down of a vehicle that includes all tools the students will need to complete the process. Students can tear down and rebuild vehicles. The vehicles that students work on are donated to the College and include newer and older gasoline, hybrid, and electric models.
“We are growing this program, bringing in new, state-of-the-art equipment, and following industry standards to develop and graduate talented technicians who can work on any automobile that they are faced with,” Joseph Schloegl, Automotive Instructor, said. “Our students can step out of the College and into any automotive shop with the skills and knowledge needed for top level performance.”
Building Construction Lab
In the Building Construction lab, students are given the opportunity to complete hands-on projects that teach them how to read and interpret construction documents, drawings, and specifications. The lab space provides students with all the tools and materials they need to complete the course section they are studying. When the class is studying drywall, students will practice hanging drywall and learn what works and what doesn’t.
A special project that students complete during their time in the lab is the she-shed. This experience provides the students hands-on learning in building a house on a smaller scale. The she-shed has electrical, including isolated outlets for window air conditioning units and heaters, insulation, wood framing, subflooring, vinyl, or laminate flooring, drywalled walls and ceiling, two windows, and asphalt shingles on the roof. The only elements that the she-shed is missing are plumbing and built-in HVAC systems.
“As an instructor, I love to see the students use the tools for the first time and ask all the questions,” Ike Gonzales, Industrial Technology Instructor, said.
The she-shed is auctioned off each semester when finished to help with material costs for the Building Construction courses.
While the newly created CDL program is located at The Advanced Technology Center, this non-credit program is not part of the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science. It is a collaboration between the Muncie-Henry County, Marion, and Anderson campuses and community partners Jones Brothers Trucking, Carter Express, and Hogan Trucking. The lab is located in the parking lot at The Advanced Technology Center. Students are given hands-on training in driving tractor-trailers.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Lab
The HVAC lab introduces students to the field of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The lab was designed during the conception of The Advanced Technology Center with input from stakeholders. Due to this collaboration, the lab space fits the HVAC course structure. Students learn firsthand with older furnaces and air conditioners as well as cutting edge equipment that meets new Department of Energy guidelines. Units in the lab include gas furnaces, electric furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, geothermal units and a full sheet metal lab for the duct fabrication course.
Every course includes lab activities that challenge students to disassemble, diagnose, test efficiency and refrigerant charge in the units. Students learn the difference between old and new refrigerants as well as their impact on the environment. The most recent addition to the lab is a variety of “mini split” heat pumps. This type of heat pump is becoming popular across the United States and is used in the advanced heat pumps course.
The HVAC program achieved the HVAC Excellence Programmatic Accreditation in April. This accreditation validates that an HVAC program meets established standards required to prepare students for successful, entry-level positions in the HVAC industry.
Machine Tool Room
For Ivy Tech, this space acts as a lab, but it is called a Tool Room. That is because, when a student graduates from the Machine Tool Technology program, the space presented at local manufacturers is a Tool Room.
“My favorite part of the Tool Room is when a student writes a program for a CNC machine and seeing their look of accomplishment when they see the finished part and students having the opportunity to operate manual machines and CNC machines. This can determine what pathway is best for them in the Machine Tool trades,” Instructor Tom Priddy said.
The Tool Room contains four manual vertical mills, four manual engine mills, two Hass CNC mills, Hass toll room CNC lathe, and a Hass CNC turret lathe. Students use all these machines for hands-on learning to prepare them for careers as Tool Makers, Machinists, CNC Operators, and CNC Programmers. The Ivy Tech Tool Room mimics a real Tool Room as closely as Instructor Priddy can make it.
Mechatronics is the multidisciplinary field that refers to the skill sets required in contemporary, advanced automated manufacturing and combines computer science, mechanical technology, electrical technology, and control systems technology. The labs at Ivy Tech use the same equipment that industry uses in manufacturing and distribution, providing students with hands-on experience with the same equipment they will use in their careers. Ivy Tech instructors have real-world industry experience and use the equipment setup, maintenance, and troubleshooting using the most common and uncommon faults seen on the job.
“The best part of this program is the setup and maintenance aspect of our equipment. For instance, the instructor can simulate damage and errors in the lab equipment providing the students extra training for real-world scenarios,” Brandon Gonzales, Department Chair for the Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology program, said.
The robotics lab at The Advanced Technology Center includes state-of-the-art industrial Fanuc robots. The Fanuc robotics system is the primary brand used in the Delaware County community providing students with training on the same equipment they will use in their careers. Students learn how to design, program, and troubleshoot computers, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), robots, and other industrial software. As with all the labs, the robots can be programmed with faults to train students how to use electrical and mechanical troubleshooting skills. Over the course of the program, students learn how to diagnose, repair, test, and return to service failed components.
The welding lab provides twenty welding booths, a virtual welder, demonstration table, and welders. Students gain hands-on experience in shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, and gas tungsten arc welding, learning how to create different types of welds and how they work on different types of materials. When a student enrolls in the full associate degree program, they are taught how to read blueprints, set up the machines and use them for the different processes, get opportunities to take a weld test to earn their AWS Qualification, and more about the processes, setups, and materials than those who do the certification and technical certification courses.
In addition to providing education in advanced manufacturing, the location supports the Muncie Area Career Center (MACC), located across the drive. In April, Ivy Tech completed a 12-week skills training class at the MACC for MIG welding. The class had 6 students enrolled and they attended a rigorous condensed version of the three classes that would allow them to take the physical welding test. There was a 100 percent pass rate on the qualification test.
“All the students achieved their qualification by the end of the 12-week term. I have been here going on five years now and this is my first 100 percent rate for testing,” David Jones, Faculty Instructor for Welding Technology, said.
To learn more about The Advanced Technology Center and the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science visit online at ivytech.edu/muncie, email [email protected] call 765-289-2291 ext. 1232.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns to the needs of the community. The College provides seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree. Follow Ivy Tech on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the most up-to-date information.