Absolute Haitian press allows Michigan university plastics lab to expand during pandemic
With a new Zeres injection molding machine, Ferris State University has been able to add an additional lab section for applied learning with one student at each machine rather than two, reducing the number of lab partners.
Injection molding machine supplier Absolute Haitian Corp. is helping college students in the plastics engineering lab at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., keep their distance despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Worcester, Mass.-based Absolute Haitian, which is the exclusive sales and service partner in Canada and the U.S. for China’s Haitian International, recently delivered a 44-ton Zhafir Zeres electric press to the applied learning lab so students can meet social distancing requirements that continue some nine months into the pandemic.
With the new molding machine, Ferris State has been able to add an additional lab section for applied learning with one student at each machine rather than two, reducing the number of lab partners.
According to officials with Absolute Haitian, Jason Holbrook, the company’s midwest regional sales manager and member of the Ferris State Plastics Engineering Technology Advisory Board, facilitated the consignment machine. Although stock machines are currently in high demand, they said, Holbrook made the case for Absolute Haitian to deliver the ZE 400/120 to the university as quickly as possible.
Tom Van Pernis, an assistant professor at Ferris, said the machine was delivered in October and was put to use right away for an advanced injection molding course. “We had students running the molding machine the day after it was delivered for six hours,” Van Pernis said. “Jason has been a great supporter of our program over the years.”
Currently, the Ferris State lab is using the Zeres press for an advanced injection molding course, and in the spring it will be used to teach a class featuring an introduction to injection molding. The electric machine has a hydraulic circuit dedicated to injection carriage movement, core pull, ejectors and valve gates, providing students with the opportunity to see both electric and hydraulic technologies in action.
The Ferris State University Plastics & Rubber Engineering Technology Program offers an A.A.S. degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology, and Bachelor of Science degrees in plastics engineering technology or rubber engineering technology – the only B.S. degrees in plastics engineering technology offered in the state of Michigan.