Autocam Medical announced the installation of three new pieces of their manufacturing equipment in Western Michigan University’s regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Laboratory (AMP Lab). The lab has received a CNC 5 Axis Mill, a Swiss lathe and a 3D metal printer to help engineering students and current engineers and designers experience the high-tech devices needed to develop and test new products and prototypes.
In addition to hands-on use of equipment, students can also gain input from industry experts at the lab.
The AMP Lab is located on the bottom two floors of WMU’s building in Grand Rapids, with classrooms above and the equipment on the lower level. This allows passersby to see the machines from the sidewalk.
“This type of visibility will allow people to see manufacturing in process,” said John Kennedy IV, General Manager at Autocam Medical. “It will also help raise the profile of advanced manufacturing in downtown Grand Rapids and draw more people into skilled trade careers. Manufacturers are struggling to fill these positions with well-trained workers who can become productive immediately. The AMP Lab helps close that gap.”
Autocam Medical provides screws, plates, cutting tools, implants, instruments and handpieces to orthopedic and medical device companies. The company is a partner in the AMP program that seeks to build a skilled workforce by developing students to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing. Autocam Medical also participates in a CNC Machinist Apprentice program. Students who complete 728 hours of classroom instruction while maintaining a full work schedule receive their journeyman’s card in CNC Machining and 27 college credits towards an associate’s degree.