Manufacturing Processes Center (MPC)
The Manufacturing Processes Center (MPC) is a 5100 square foot facility. The laboratories are located in 174 Whittemore Hall (Modern Manufacturing Processes Laboratories) and 189 Durham Hall (Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Laboratory). Together, these rooms provide over 5,100 square feet of space.
Also located in the Manufacturing Processes Center is the Research Support Shop. This machine shop provides support to faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate students in their many research and student projects. There are many apparatus and devices designed and produced in the research shop to support the ISE Department to meet their research goals.
- The Machining Laboratory, consisting of a variety of equipment for performing traditional machining processes. This equipment includes two Bridgeport 1.5-hp and two ToolMaster 1-hp vertical milling machines, one Van Norman 3-hp and two Cincinnati 5-hp horizontal milling machines, four South Bend 3-hp and three Mazak 10-hp manual lathes, four drill presses, one gang drill, and one surface grinder. A 7.5-hp Hurco CNC 3-axis vertical milling machine provides the capability to perform automated machining.
- The Casting Laboratory, containing all equipment needed for performing both sand and permanent-mold casting.
- The Welding Laboratory, consisting of six booths for manual arc welding and a GE Model P50 robot and controller for performing robotic gas arc welding.
- The Metrology Laboratory, containing a variety of equipment for measurement and testing. Digital and vernier calipers, dial gages, micrometers, depth gages, gage blocks, and surface plates are available for dimensional and geometric measurements. Other measuring equipment includes an optical comparator and Helmel coordinate measuring machine. Testing equipment includes a compression tester and Rockwell hardness tester.
- The Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Laboratory, composed of equipment and computer hardware and software for developing and testing NC part programs, both on-line and off-line. Included are 7 Pentium computers, Cutting Edge and SmartCAM CAM software, a laserjet printer, and two Dyna 2400 CNC vertical milling machines and controllers.
There are over 400 undergraduate students that participate in the labs within the Center during the academic year. Students are introduced to numerous types of individual labs and experiments. The labs are uniquely set up for a hands-on approach to demonstrate to students industrial processes in an industrial environment.
In the MPC, students learn the basics of several applications in the industrial world. They observe and work on an assembly line to learn the proper ways to set up a production line. Also, they learn the basics of sand casting, manual machining, numerically controlled machining, welding and robotic welding.
The Manufacturing Processes Center and Research Support Shop employ four full time technicians with many years of experience in manufacturing. They instruct students in the manufacturing processes Labs and design and build many fixtures and devices to support the on-going research effort of the Department. The technicians each have over 20 years of experience in manufacturing and lab instruction.
- Joe Linkous
- Randall Monk
- Kelly Snidow
- Randy Waldron
In addition to the aforementioned laboratories, several other manufacturing processes can be performed using stand-alone equipment located in the main laboratory. These processes, and the associated pieces of equipment, are as follows:
- Forming is possible by way of a Hydrolair 50-ton forming press and various dies.
- Powder Metallurgy can be performed using the Hydrolair forming press for powder compaction, and an inert gas furnace for sintering.
- EDM (Electric Discharge Machining) is done with a EuroSource 5 KVA manual EDM machine.
- Sawing operations are handled by a universal cutoff saw with power feed, a vertical bandsaw, and an abrasive cutoff wheel.
Support facilities for the MPL include a fully-equipped tool room and a research machine shop. The tool room provides all tooling for both instructional and research-related manufacturing operations. The research machine shop is available exclusively to the lab technical staff for research and university-related manufacturing jobs.
The MPC is used for both undergraduate instruction, graduate research, and continuing education. Various mechanisms (e.g., CHPM membership) are available for industrial firms to perform sponsored research using these facilities and associated faculty.