Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Students, others can get hands-on manufacturing experience

Monday September 28, 2015 11:04 AM

Johnstown's Apeks Supercritical is hosting a Manufacturing Day, also known as MfgDay, Oct. 2 for students and the public at 150 Commerce Blvd.

Student participants will have an opportunity to work hands-on with one manufacturing area of their choice -- welding, pipe and tube fitting and bending, machining or electrical controls assembly.

"It's a great opportunity for parents, teachers, students or anyone who wants to learn about manufacturing," said Andy Joseph, Apeks owner and president.

"It's not a course," Joseph said. "It's a hands-on experience. There's nothing better than creating something with your own two hands."

This is the first year Apeks Supercritical is participating in MfgDay, a nationwide event where manufacturers open their doors to high school and middle school students to promote engineering and manufacturing careers.

"Previously, we didn't have the physical space to host students," Joseph said.

"We've been wanting to do this for a long time and now in our new manufacturing facility, we have the space," Joseph said.

Apeks Supercritical will host students from noon to 4 p.m. and open the doors to the rest of the public at 2 p.m.

At 1 p.m. Mayor Sean Staneart and Village Manager Jim Lenner will speak to students about what manufacturing means in terms of bringing tax dollars to the village, thus allowing for new roads and infrastructure to be built.

Joseph said they are expecting more than 200 students so far from Johnstown-Monroe schools and Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County.

"The point is to promote manufacturing for tomorrow's employers," Joseph said.

"A lot of other companies that participate focus on computers and automation and we wanted to focus on the hands-on basic practices of manufacturing," he said.

"You need to understand the core basic fundamentals of manufacturing in order to be competitive."

Apeks Supercritical will have several stations set up for the students to get real world, hands-on exposure to manufacturing processes.

Students will learn the basics of arc welding from experienced professional welders and will be able to make an arc weld on a stainless steel coupon which they can then keep.

"I'm betting 99 percent of these students have never welded before," Joseph said.

"That's okay. This an opportunity to weld something, keep it and show friends or family what they made," he said.

When he was younger, Joseph had the chance to shadow at his dad's company when there was an open house. It was his first experience with manufacturing and he said it influenced the rest of his life.

Additionally, two stations will be set up to give students an opportunity to learn about machinery to drill, tap, debur and inspect a threaded hole in stainless steel.

"Students will get to drill a hole in metal and feel what handling the machine is like," Joseph said. "It won't just be pressing a button."

For those who want to learn about mechanical tube fitting and assembly, they can learn bending applications from seasoned experts and will get to measure, cut, bend and assemble tubing according to a sample part.

To get more information about electrical controls assembly, students can learn the basics of programmable logic controls from an automation expert.

Students will assemble control wires and program the PLC to put a "Knight Rider-esque" light bar in action.

Visitors should wear appropriate attire for a manufacturing facility, such as long pants, closed toed shoes, no loose clothing, and no headphones. Safety glasses, food and refreshments will be provided.

http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/johnstown/news/2015/09/28/apeks-supercritical-students-others-can-get-hands-on-manufacturing-experience.html