Another School “Real Shop” Example

Learn about a manufacturing education program that functions as a student-run machining business.


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The NCMM offers students real-world experience in the business of operating a machine shop.
(Photo courtesy of NMCC.)

Most readers of this blog are familiar with Cardinal Manufacturing, the Wisconsin high school manufacturing program that functions as a student-run machining and fabrication business. Recently, I learned about a similar operation in Presque Isle, Maine.

Dean Duplessis is the manufacturing instructor for the Precision Metals program at Northern Maine Community College (NMCC). Like Cardinal, the NMCC program instructs would-be machinists by having them make real parts for real customers just like any job shop would. Dean says the program is non-revenue generating. Its customers pay for materials, tooling, shipping and the like. Its volumes vary from 250 to 1,000 pieces, and there’s a good deal of repeat work. All jobs have travelers, setup instructions, inspection instructions and so on, so students are fully accountable for all work.

NMCC doubles as a Haas Technical Education Center. Learn more about the program in this article found in Haas’s CNC Machining magazine.

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