More and more emphasis is being placed on training and education to help the plastics industry develop the employees of the future. That means that colleges and other training centers need support from suppliers for everything from machinery and auxiliary equipment to raw materials. The Dyna-Purge Divison of Shuman Plastics Inc., is doing its part to help out these institutions by working with approximately 30 colleges and universities throughout the United States, providing training and purging compounds for their polymer programs.
“Some of these polymer science departments are reaching out to the private sector because they are challenged to come up with the resources required to continue these programs. State funding and grant monies have dried up,” Tim Cutler, VP of Dyna-Purge, told PlasticsToday. “Unless there’s cooperation or partnerships with companies like ours, they’re not going to get the resources they need.”
As one example, Dyna-Purge (www.dynapurge.com) purging compounds are being used in laboratories at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY. RIT (www.rit.edu) is one of the world’s leading technological institutions, offering a wide variety of academic programs, including materials science and engineering. RIT laboratories utilize sate-of-the-art equipment to engage students in learning and to conduct research.
Robert Aldi is a graduate student and manager of an RIT laboratory supervised by Changfeng Ge, PhD, an Associate Professor of Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering Technology and Packaging Science at RIT. Aldi noted that the lab uses Dyna-Purge engineered purging compounds for purging numerous pieces of equipment, including an injection molding machine, a single-screw extruder and a three-layer co-extrusion blown-film line. The RIT lab uses different grades of Dyna-Purge products at shutdown and start-up of the equipment, which saves them money and increases efficiency.
Cutler noted that the technology of purging processing equipment is a small niche, and said that Dyna-Purge has taken on the role of educating students about the importance of purging and maintaining equipment to reduce downtime between material or color changes.
Dyna-Purge has worked with the University of Akron in Ohio in that institution’s accredited laboratory, but Cutler added, “It’s not just the larger universities that need help but the community colleges and the vocational schools as well."
Cutler said that from his perspective, suppliers can educate the next generation of plastics processing employee. “Commercial purge compounds are not always seen as a viable solution, but they are important in helping processors transition easily from color to color or from one material to another,” he said. “The younger generation getting into the business and working alongside a 30-year veteran…if the younger employee knows and understands the benefits of our products, he can convince the veteran that we’re a viable part of the process.”
Dyna-Purge is a supplier of non-chemical, non-abrasive purging compounds formulated for safe and effective cleaning. The company is also dedicated to educating the trade on the advantages to using commercial purging compounds.
“Beyond just supplying them with purging compound, there’s the training that’s important. The young person who’s eager and willing to learn new technologies from the suppliers – whether its resins, machinery, auxiliary equipment or purging compounds, will pass that knowledge along,” said Cutler. “We take pride in supporting the work of college and university laboratories by showing them how to effectively cut down time and material scrap rates for their particular equipment.”