When a vocational school in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, recently found itself without a CNC lathe, a number of PMPA members and non-members came to the rescue. For years, the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC) served as a local showroom for a machine equipment manufacturer. That arrangement ended last year when the manufacturer sold the last of the lathes and the school didn’t have money budgeted to replace the machines.
John Rosenow, vice president of production and co-owner of Flowstar, Inc. in nearby Lititz, Pennsylvania, heard about the need and offered to help. “I passed out flyers to PMPA members asking for their support and watched for auctions and sales on the PMPA Listserve,” he explains. “One day, on the Listserve, I saw a listing for a Miyano CNC lathe with a Fanuc control. It was being sold by Roberts Automatic Products, a PMPA member company located in Minnesota. I immediately called Dave Sibinski, senior process engineer with Roberts Automatic Products, and he told me that the machine was still being used, but would soon be replaced.
“I explained the school’s situation and that I needed some time to raise the money,” Mr. Rosenow continues. “Roberts Automatic had other interested buyers, but they also wanted to help the school. They wanted to do something because of what the PMPA stands for—promoting our trade and helping to train young people.”
It wasn’t long before other PMPA members got involved. The Lancaster PMPA chapter president, Mike Gammache, helped negotiate the sale price of the machine. Then, Mr. Rosenow began calling fellow PMPA members, as well as companies in Lancaster County that could benefit from the vo-tech school.
“We had great support all around,” Mr. Rosenow says. “We received donations of money, materials and service from both PMPA members and non-members located nearby. I didn’t have to beg or plead. People responded in a very positive way.”
The PMPA member companies that contributed to the cause were Bracalente Manufacturing, Flowstar, Inc., GAM Manufacturing, Imperial Specialty, HDJ Company, John Prosock Machine, National Bearings Company, Sandvik, Specialty Screw Machine Products, Thuro Metal Products and Ugine Stainless. GAM Manufacturing also donated a power transformer.
The local Lancaster chapter of the PMPA made a donation, as did the national PMPA Education Foundation. “The Education Foundation contributed almost 25 percent,” Mr. Rosenow states. “That put us over the top for meeting the price of the machine.”
Many non-PMPA members also helped out. Companies that contributed to the cause were Dentech, Fenner Drives, Kaufman Machine, Star Dental and Warwick Machine. Admiral Metals contributed brass and aluminum; and Liberty Tool, the local Cimcool and Iscar distributor, donated coolant and tooling. Iscar Metals is a PMPA member.
“Kline Machine, located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, represents Miyano and donated a full day of service,” Mr. Rosenow adds. “The Kline technician spent a day at the school servicing the machine and instructing the teachers. He said the lathe was very well-maintained and in superb condition for a 20-year-old machine.”
The lathe was delivered to the school on April 25. “Roberts Automatic did a great job in prepping the machine for transit,” Mr. Rosenow says. “It arrived at the school beautifully packed, looking like a brand new machine. They included all of the books and some CNC programs. It was very well done. The teachers and students were all very excited to see the new machine.
“The thing that really made me feel comfortable about the lathe was that it came from a PMPA member company,” Mr. Rosenow adds. “I was able to tell those who donated money and materials that the seller was a reputable source.”
Mr. Rosenow, a degreed engineer, has always been a strong supporter of vocational schools. “After working in my father’s shop for a year, I attended Triton College, a two-year technical school in Chicago,” he explains. “So I have a real affection for trade schools because that’s where I began my formal machining education.”
Flowstar, Inc. is located at 2077 Main Street, Lititz, Pennsylvania 17543. Phone: (717) 627-7210. Web site: www.flowstarinc.com