DCCC Mobile Manufacturing Lab Provides On-Site Training to Local Machining Company

Mobile Lab at Myers 1

June 2, 2014 – Davidson County Community College’s new Mobile Manufacturing Training Lab traveled to its first on-site training opportunity this week. The 44-foot-long technology lab on wheels visited Myers Tool & Machine Co. Inc. in Lexington, N.C., where employees received specialized training without having to leave their job site.

Eight Myers Tool employees boarded the mobile lab to learn how to use updated software that operates computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling and turning equipment. Myers Tool will begin using the new GibbsCAM software in its shop soon to complete jobs that require very precise machining.

Mobile Lab at Myers 2DCCC partnered with software vendor Morningstar CAM Solutions to install the GibbsCAM software in the Mobile Manufacturing Training Lab. A representative from Morningstar instructed the Myers Tool employees during the training, along with Michael Davis, advanced manufacturing instructor at DCCC, who is also qualified to teach the software to students.

The new software makes it possible for metal fabrication companies like Myers Tool to draw more accurate, 3-D models and import them into CNC machines that manufacture steel, aluminum and stainless parts for various commercial clients in the glass, food service, pharmaceutical, appliance, textile, heavy construction and automotive industries.

It’s a much more precise way of programming and machining – one that requires workers to have advanced training, says Eric Myers, the company’s owner. Having the mobile lab visit Myers Tool helps him train his employees without losing productivity while sending them to classes off-site, he says.

“The mobile lab is a huge benefit to us and works perfectly for what we’re doing,” Myers says. “For me to take eight of my employees out of our machine shop and send them off-site for a week of training, it would take away from our production. With DCCC’s lab, they can work for a few hours in the morning or afternoon and then get the training they need in the middle of the day. We see this as a convenience factor.”

Mobile Lab at Myers 3Convenience – and access – is exactly what DCCC intended when creating the Mobile Manufacturing Training Lab. Through the Business & Industry Customized Training Program, the college provides industry-specific instruction to local businesses both on the Davidson and Davie campuses and on-site. The mobile lab gives DCCC the tools to make advanced manufacturing training more accessible with the goal of supporting job growth across the region.

“It’s a highly skilled profession and we struggle to find good machinists,” Myers says. “Our work is becoming more automated, and everything is going to computer-operated machines. DCCC has really stepped up its program and has referred students to us for jobs.”

This is DCCC’s first opportunity to use the mobile lab for on-site training, but Rodney Jackson, dean of the School of Business, Engineering and Technical Studies, says other companies have already contacted the college to express interest in having the lab visit them for on-site training.

“Our intent is to get out and provide customized training specific to the educational and instructional needs of local businesses,” says Jackson. “The mobile lab helps us better support the community and industry partners within our service area, because we bring the training to them. We look forward to doing more of this in the future.”

In addition to the new GibbsCAM software, the Mobile Manufacturing Training Lab features HAAS equipment, including a CNC mill and CNC lathe, and can also load and unload equipment for welding, electronics engineering, drafting and design, and industrial maintenance – allowing for tailored training in a variety of industries. The lab also boasts Solidworks 3-D modeling software, MasterCam CAD/CAM software and a robotic arm.

The DCCC Foundation funded the trailer that houses the lab, and the equipment inside was paid for with funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

*Editor’s Note: In the first photo, employees from Myers Tool & Machine Co. Inc. learn how to use new GibbsCAM software aboard Davidson County Community College’s Mobile Manufacturing Training Lab. Pictured from left to right are Michael Younts, Myers Tool employee; C.J. Keen, Myers Tool employee; Michael Davis, advanced manufacturing instructor at DCCC; David Harrel, Morningstar CAM Solutions instructor; and Larry Redwine, Myers Tool employee. The second photo shows Myers Tool employees receiving instruction from DCCC and Morningstar trainers inside the mobile lab. The third photo shows DCCC’s Mobile Manufacturing Training Lab on site at Myers Tool.

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is looking forward to serving students in Davidson and Davie counties for many years to come. The college is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College at davidsonccc.edu.