Computer integrated manufacturing: a new class

Starting next year, a new Project Lead the Way class called Computer Integrated Manufacturing will join West High’s multitude of courses.

CNC+Lathe%2C+photo+from+Flickr+used+with+permission.
CNC Lathe, photo from Flickr used with permission.

CNC Lathe, photo from Flickr used with permission.

CNC Lathe, photo from Flickr used with permission.

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Computer Integrated Manufacturing, one of the new classes at West, will feature a large range of topics to learn about, from manufacturing processes to robots and automation. The class was created to allow students to have more applicable experience for today’s jobs. Brian Martz, the current manufacturing teacher at West, will be teaching the class. “The class is mostly about modern manufacturing processes, taking design work that we do in Intro to Engineering and Design, and actually producing products with modern techniques,” Martz said.
The class will start by designing on computers, and then move into the workshop to load materials into the new machines to build products. Two of those machines include the Computer Numerical Control milling machine, often shortened to a CNC mill and a CNC lathe. A milling machine is a machine that uses rotary cutters to remove parts from a material to build things. A lathe does the same as the mill, except it rotates the material and cuts linearly.“[We have a] CNC mill. We’ll have a CNC lathe, we’ll have a robot, we’ll have a laser engraver, there’ll be all kinds of stuff that we can set up to make an automated manufacturing system,” Martz explained.
Currently, the class has around 20 students, including Rosalynn Frerichs ‘21.“[I’m excited] to design my own stuff… as far as I know there aren’t any other classes where you really get to [do that],” Frerichs said.
Frerichs took Industrial Tech in seventh grade and became interested in designing. “I really like designing products, I like making them too but I like the designing process more and I really like using the designing software,” she said. “[designing is] not my main focus in life, I don’t want to design things as a career but it would be fun to take more classes like this and have the ability to learn more about it.”
Computer Integrated Manufacturing is currently the only class that covers all of these topics in the ICCSD. While there are designing classes and manufacturing classes there aren’t any that include both with all of the new technology. If this class does well, they plan on implementing similar courses throughout the district.

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