Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Winning Engineering Students Look Forward to Careers in Manufacturing

Our 2nd annual Ring-A-Majig contest ended with a team of four engineering students from East Carolina University taking the top prize. Their winning entry, a model railroad hand cart, featured a design that incorporated several retaining rings as the fastening method, as well as a wave spring used to activate the braking system.

Members of the winning team included Erik Panarusky, Sam Poindexter, John Rayner and Zachery Rogers. Professor Ranjeet Agarawala served as the team’s advisor.

Winning Design: Model railroad cart is held together by retaining
rings and features a wave spring as part of the braking system.
In addition to a cash award, the students received an all-expense paid trip to Rotor Clip to tour our manufacturing facility and to attend the Atlantic Design and Manufacturing Show in New York, where they exhibited their winning design.

The pulse of manufacturing is quickening and our winning students are part of the excitement that has been building around manufacturing as a career. They look forward to working in companies that utilize the latest technology and practices to produce tomorrow’s breakthrough products.

“Manufacturing plays such a vital role in the world today, and having knowledge and training of up to date processes, automation, seems to be extremely important,” noted Eric Panarusky. John Rayner characterized manufacturing as a “viable career option for a young person.”

“With the advances in manufacturing technologies, 3D printing and robotics specifically,” he continued, “now is as good a time as any for a young person to be getting into manufacturing.”

The students also weighed in on their tour of Rotor Clip, which was for most the first time they had ever been in a manufacturing facility. Zachery Rogers was impressed with the smooth process flow of the factory “…from prepping raw materials to be stamped or coiled with machines, to the packaging of the clips using the plastic wraps (shrink wrap), or the wires (Rings On Wire).”

Eric Panarusky noted the advantage to actually seeing a factory in action versus learning about it in a classroom.

“It can be hard to grasp the scale and interactivity of design and manufacturing until you see it in person,” he said. “I felt the tour was most beneficial in the way of showing how each individual person and machine played a vital role in the entire operation.”

“Seeing this company producing as much product as they’re producing in house was awesome,” added Sam Poindexter. “Looking into the process of how everything is done at the company really gets me interested.”

The trade show was also a first for our students and they were happy to take part in it.

“The trade show was a fantastic opportunity to see current and future advances in manufacturing technologies,” said John Rayner. “Some of the things companies are working on are simply amazing and young people are at the forefront.”

Eric Panarusky was impressed by the diverse companies at the show and the range of products they exhibited.

“It made the workforce I'm hopefully about to enter seem less daunting,” he said, “especially because it made the job market and specific areas of work appear very, very, broad.”

The experience gave Zachery Rogers a basic understanding of what companies are looking for and how they showcase their services. “(It) has helped me understand how companies interact with one another,” he concluded.

We have been heartened and encouraged by the response to our contest, both by the quality of the work submitted and by the promise it holds for the future of manufacturing in our country. We wish our winners luck in their job endeavors and look forward to seeing what creative designs students submit for our 2018 contest.

Joe Cappello is Director of Global Marketing for Rotor Clip Company.