LARWILL — Locally-based contract manufacturer Red Star Manufacturing, Inc. recently collaborated with Whitko High School to support component manufacturing for a custom-ordered 10-ton plastic injection molding machine.
In late 2011, Red Star owner Scott Werstler approached Whitko Engineering and Welding Technology teacher Jay Ocken about providing his students with hands-on experience with tools and techniques in component manufacturing.
Over the course of two weeks, four students from Ocken’s Whitko Manufacturing Systems and Processes class worked on the project in the classroom using skills in blueprint reading, precision part layout, precision drilling, milling processes, internal threading, and metal finishing techniques to create parts used to build a machine produced for a small manufacturing facility in Michigan.
“Whitko is proud to be able to prepare students to meet the current needs of our industry and community partners. Our Red Star partnership continues to be a great asset for our students,” said Whitko Community Schools Superintendent Steve Clason.
"Working with area businesses is one way Whitko can assist our area to grow economically stronger as we prepare our students to take their adult positions within the community.”
The company that purchased the machine is one of two companies in the United States that manufactures door sensors used on mini-vans, car trucks and hatch backs. Products made with this machine will be re-sold and later installed by automakers throughout the country.