This year we expanded our tours for National Manufacturing Day to 4 days and 5 separate tours. Our intent, as explained by Eric Blow, Pres of Astro Machine Works, is to change the perception of manufacturing that both students and parents may have about careers in this field. Careers in Machining, Fabrication, Welding, Assembly and Engineering are now highly computerized processes without the old stereotype of being dirty jobs. We also had a talk from a once engineering student turned machinists on how she found she preferred hands on experience to sitting at a desk, which is how she ended up in Astro Machine’s Intern program.
Demonstrations were shown at several stops inside our 3 buildings including different types of Weldments, CNC Machining from drawings to completed parts on our Machining Centers, Fabrication and Assembly of Custom Machines for various industries including Food, Electronics and Military Assemblies.
Tour participants were able to view CAD drawings using SolidWorks programming, Reverse Engineering of Parts, Wire EDM, and Inspection probes and CMM tools in our Quality Control department. Other issues that were covered in the tours included OSHA safety standards, educational opportunities and apprentice programs in Manufacturing and Skilled Trades.
On Tuesday, October 3rd we hosted a group of 22 female students in coordination with Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. The National Science Foundation Grant promotes women in the Machining, Electrical and W.E.T. (Water & Environmental Technology) programs at Stevens. We were excited to have representatives from WGAL TV interview Brian Hess, Sales Manager here at Astro Machine, about the future of women in the Manufacturing workplace.
On Thursday, October 5th 50 students and educators from the Intro to Engineering classes visited from Ephrata High School. We also toured students from the Berks County Career and Technical Center (CTC). On Thurs we hosted 50 students from Manheim Central High School.
There was so much interest from these bright students we are especially excited about the future of the participants who came through our doors. Please see our slide show of some of the demonstrations.