Teaching CNC Plasma Technology in Reno

This school is teaching the next generation of manufacturing professionals how to apply technology currently used by aircraft engineers, ship builders and the U.S. military.


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As a car guy, I’ve always wanted a plasma cutter. Those things go through sheet metal like butter. Plus, unlike oxy-fuel, plasma can cut stainless steel, aluminum and brass as well as mild steel. It seems the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology in Reno, Nevada likes them, too. The school uses Torchmate CNC plasma-cutting technology to teach the next generation of engineers, architects and manufacturing professionals how to apply the same technology used by aircraft engineers, ship builders and the U.S. military.
Gaylord Rodeman, welding instructor at the school, says the 4- × 8-ft. Torchmate 3 CNC machine with Arc Voltage Height Control (AVHC) used in his classroom enables students to take learning step from a hypothetical, textbook-oriented idea to a hands-on project.
“Application is one of the high-end levels of learning,” he explains. “Not only does it stick with the student longer, it is motivation. To create something, see it work and have that success is a learning experience that cannot be equaled in the fields of engineering and skilled manufacturing.” I’d agree with that. The Torchmate machine is an integral part of his classroom philosophy, in which students are taught not just individual skills, but the creative process of building something from the ground up using multiple manufacturing applications in one project.
Mr. Rodeman chose Torchmate because the company was local, responsive and delivered effective technology and technical support. The Washoe County School District, of which Rodeman’s school is a part, uses five Torchmate CNC machines.

Torchmate, which was recently acquired by Lincoln Electric, manufactures custom CNC plasma cutting tables and other automation solutions for manufacturers worldwide. For more than 30 years, the company has provided options, accessories and innovations for applications ranging from plasma cutters, routers, waterjets, engravers, glue guns and so on. Click here to learn more about the company.