OSWEGO — A wealth of advanced manufacturing equipment, labs and talented faculty and students have positioned SUNY Oswego to “go public,” offering businesses around the region a place to develop and refine products and designs.
The effort will provide the college’s technology students hands-on, commercial experience and provide advanced services to companies in such areas as computer-assisted design, 3D printing and prototyping, materials processing, computer numeric control milling.
The college’s recent Advanced Manufacturing Jam in Park Hall marked the launch of the collaborative venture, with 28 participants in attendance, including such companies as National Grid, Novelis and the Fulton Companies.
“President Stanley is interested in leveraging the assets we have on our campus — both human and capital — to support innovation and economic growth in our region,” said Pam Caraccioli, deputy to SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley for external partnerships and economic development.
Mark Hardy, technology department chair, expressed excitement at the possibilities for assisting companies and for helping technology management students secure experience in commercial project teams, additional internships and cooperative education placements.
“This work could take the form of assisting a company in product development or helping a marketing department communicate a concept to a client,” Hardy said. “Or it could mean full fabrication here in our labs, in woods, polymers and metals. We’ve got the capability to machine parts and produce products from raw materials.”
Jeff Grimshaw, director of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, said the initiative is strategically important for the college and for area businesses.
“We are looking to foster collaboration and strong relationships with innovative companies in the region,” Grimshaw said. “The Advanced Manufacturing Jam helped lay the groundwork. Several organizations have expressed interest and we are working on those relationships and are very interested in additional ones.”
Two years ago, the college opened a 13,700-foot addition to Wilber Hall that includes two state-of-the-art manufacturing labs built at a cost of $3 million. The college has outfitted the labs with $1.6 million in high-tech equipment, including Stratasys’ Fortus 250mc 3D production printer, an AXYZ 4008 ATC precision router, and a Haas Mini Mill, a laser cutter-engraver.
All the gear uses modern computer-assisted design, computer-assisted manufacturing and/or computer numeric control, which synthesizes design and fabrication via sets of instructions for precision machines. Hardy said the technology department has courses that teach Mastercam software skills, computer-assisted design and materials processing.
Edward McCormack, a technology management senior at SUNY Oswego, said his experience interning with D-K Manufacturing in nearby Fulton — a company that mills, turns, die-stamps and can reverse-engineer or prototype machine parts — has helped ratify for him that the technology department is keeping pace with industry demands.
“If D-K needed me to do homework or product development here, I could do it,” McCormack said. “I already know how to use the advanced manufacturing equipment. At D-K, they are using the Mastercam software, setting up similar machines and running the parts.”
Hardy said the technology faculty has begun the process of redeveloping Oswego’s bachelor’s degree program in technology management to a multidisciplinary degree program in advanced manufacturing management.
“We are training people who can step into management roles with a strong technological background and the people skills to develop an innovation culture among employees,” he said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”