Humber College and a manufacturing company specializing in machine tools launched a five-year partnership providing students and faculty with the expertise for the advanced manufacturing tooling processes.
The college signed the deal earlier this month with DMG MORI Canada, a global manufacturer of computer numerical control (CNC) tools which are machine tools that can be controlled by computers. High-tech turning and milling machines are used in several key manufacturing sectors including the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries.
The deal will focus on Industry 4.0, which is known as the fourth industrial revolution, taking the adoption of computers and automation developed earlier and applying it with smart technology.
“Our students and faculty will benefit from DMG MORI’s expertise and learning on their machine tooling systems, as they prepare for the highly-skilled, advanced manufacturing jobs of today and tomorrow,” Humber President Chris Whitaker said in a prepared statement.
Students will learn how to operate five-axis CNC technology for a variety of job fields.
The advancement of the five-axis technology enables a cutting tool to move along five different axis simultaneously.
Marco Fernandez, the national service manager at DMG MORI, said a machine with two or three axes can only move side-to-side, up and down, or in and out. Five-axis technology allows more for more flexibility and movement for complex machining.
“If you can also rotate the part and swivel the part, then you can almost infinitely design a shape,” Fernandez said.
The five-axis technology will be a part of Humber’s Centre of Technology and Innovation and it will be used for classes as well as applied research projects.
“This will help our students do a better job at precision machining because up until now, [the current technology] is precise, but not as precise [as the five-axis],” said Sherif Hanna, the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program Coordinator.
Mechanical Engineering students will transition from learning how to operate a three-axis machine to the five-axis upgrade. The new technology is still being added to the curriculum.
Hanna said his students have been asking for more up-to-date models.
“Sometimes [students] go and work in some advanced manufacturing facility and they see [the five-axis machinery] and they don’t know much about it or they don’t deal with it, so that’s why we wanted to give them the chance to do it,” Hanna said.
It’s important mechanical engineering students learn the technology companies are using today, he said.
“If you want to make sure that your students have the skills and capability to work with the cool companies and the highly desirable jobs, then you need to have the equipment that’s being used in the industry,” said Darren Lawless, the Dean of Applied Research and Innovation.
Access to this technology is only the starting point in the five-year deal. Students will also receive technical expertise, market knowledge, and skills to help them succeed in the industry.
“It’s more than just providing a co-op experience and learning opportunity, it’s working with Humber faculty, students and other partners,” Lawless said. “We don’t pretend to have the expertise in their technology that they do, but they’re willing to share and help us learn as well.”
As Dean, Lawless said he makes sure relationships created between Humber and external companies, such as DMG MORI, are beneficial to both the college and the company.
Humber and DMG MORI have been close for several years, but they just recently decided to make it official, Lawless said.
“It’s a long-term partnership that essentially has now allowed us to take it to the next level where we found a better way of working with them and a commitment over five years to work together to better form tighter bonds,” Lawless said.
Details are also being worked out to deliver more cutting-edge technology to Humber, he said.