Engineering students tour PRISM Plastics
The “light bulb” moment.
It’s a moment any professor can appreciate, the time in which a student suddenly makes sense of classroom theory and discussion.
For 37 mechanical and manufacturing engineering students, a light bulb moment started with a little plastic.
The students visited PRISM Plastics to learn more about the latest in injection molding technology, equipment and processes for the automotive industry.
Students received a tour of the new facility in Chesterfield Township, Mich., while discussing automation, process development, in-mold rheology, runner reduction techniques and material selection.
“The students really appreciated the opportunity to visit PRISM and see everything they have been learning put into practice,” said German Reyes, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at U of M Dearborn.
“It’s wonderful to watch the light bulbs turn on for them, and valuable to give them a sense of what the real world of manufacturing is all about.”
The program emphasized the additional demands of making tight-tolerance, functional parts for automotive safety applications and the importance of eliminating variation from all stages of production.
“The visual demonstration and in-depth engineering content was excellent. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard ‘Reynolds Number’ used outside of the classroom,” said mechanical engineering student Ian Dettloff.
The students also interacted with PRISM staff and asked questions about the plant, technology, the processes being described and careers in manufacturing and in the auto industry.
PRISM Vice President Rod Bricker led the tour along with Tom Zobl, product development, and Adam Smith, project engineer.
“Everyone from our team enjoyed having students visit our new plant—it feels great to share our knowledge and experience in tight tolerance injection molding with the next generation of engineers,” Bricker said.
“Getting to interact with so many engaged and intelligent students speaks to a bright future for manufacturing and the auto supplier industry, especially here in Michigan.”