The world’s first-ever additively manufactured vehicle, Strati, was recently on display at NTMA Training Centers, Santa Fe Springs, California. The Strati was fabricated in the fall of 2014 and a collaborative effort between Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT), International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), Local Motors, Cincinnati, Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
We caught up with Michael Kerwin, President of NTMA Training Centers, to learn about the Strati’s debut and NTMA Training Centers in an exclusive AMazing® Q&A session.
AMazing®: Michael, thank you for your participation. It must have been a wonderful opportunity for staff and students to see the world’s first-ever additively manufactured vehicle. How was the Strati received by those in attendance at the vehicle’s NTMA debut?
Michael Kerwin: The debut of the Strati at NTMA was very exciting. We had over 100 High School and Middle School students in attendance, along with visitors from the local community. Students were excited to not only get a glimpse at the Strati, but that they had the opportunity to get their picture taken in the driver seat and were posting to their Social media pages throughout the event.
AMazing®: Would you please take a moment and talk about NTMA Training Centers? What is NTMA’s mission? How many students are enrolled? What is a typical program entail?
Michael Kerwin: NTMA is a private not for profit vocational school with campuses in Ontario and Santa Fe Springs, California. Right now we have approximately 550 Full Time Students enrolled in our Machinist Training program and 100 Part-time students in the advanced programs.
Our entry level machinist training program covers everything from tools and traditional machines to advanced CNC and programming. We cover topics like Safety, inspection, Quality Control and the students get hands on training in EDM, Mastercam, CNC, programming and we are now implementing a new section on 3D printing.
AMazing®: We understand the NTMA Training Centers places 90% of students in industry. What factors have contributed to this impressive achievement?
Michael Kerwin: There are a lot of factors that contribute to this achievement. Not only are they receiving hands on training but we help prepare them for the workforce. We stress the importance of Perfect Attendance and have all students wear a uniform to school. We work with every student before they graduate on improving their interview skills with the help of our full time Career Services department. We start working with our students before they graduate on soft interview skills as well as the technical aspect of interviews, and make sure we are setting them up for success. Our Career services department works with each student or graduates individually and connects not only the right student to the right career path but the right student for the company as well.
AMazing®: In keeping up with advanced manufacturing, we understand additive manufacturing will be used in many ways at NTMA. Would you share some of the ways additive manufacturing will be incorporated into NTMA education and training?
Michael Kerwin: Some of the ways additive manufacturing will and has been incorporated into NTMA training is by touching upon the subject in our entry level Machinist training program. Eventually with this implementation each student will be working on at least one 3D printed project during their course.
We are also working on class material and developing a 40 hour Fundamentals of 3D printing class which will focus on just 3D printing. Right now students in our machinist training program are participating on our NTMA Training Centers Robotics League, the students participating in this extracurricular activity have utilized 3D printing in our most recent event, building connectors, wheels – all using 3D printed technology.
AMazing®: With the prospect that additive technologies will become more commonplace in industry, how do you anticipate NTMA’s commitment to additive manufacturing will evolve over the next few years? What do you hope to see?
Michael Kerwin: NTMA Training Centers is constantly evolving. We hold annual meetings where we invite local manufacturers to evaluate and discuss our current curriculum. This is our way of staying current to what the industry needs and receive constructive criticism from the manufacturing industry. In turn this helps us train the graduates that they need and they have the right skills for the jobs. Already we have two 3D printers, one at each campus and are working on building more because we see more to 3D printing than just prototyping and want our students ready for this change. Additive and Subtractive manufacturing (where 3D printing is combined with traditional milling and turning in one process) is going to become more commonplace so we anticipate implementing more programming languages and techniques that will come in handy for our graduates which will be used in additive and subtractive manufacturing.
This concludes our interview. Thank you very much Michael for your participation. We are very grateful for the opportunity to learn about the Strati’s debut and NTMA Training Centers.
About NTMA Training Centers:
Since 1968, the NTMA Training Centers of Southern California have prepared and furthered the skills of nearly 75,000 men and women for careers in the tooling, machining, and manufacturing industry. Offering a wide spectrum of training, all locations offer modern classrooms, state-of-the-art machinery for extensive hands-on practice, and instructors possessing vital knowledge and experience in the industry. Students are afforded the highest caliber of instruction, including computer lab and actual machining of parts for the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed. http://trainingcenters.org
NTMA Training Centers
12131 Telegraph Road.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 USA
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