Rotational molding workshop at Penn College draws worldwide participants

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Margie Chappell, of Elkamet, East Flat Rock, North Carolina, takes a photo of a powder classifier as Brock Snyder, of Akro-Plastics in Kent, Ohio, and Shelby Fischer, a PIRC research assistant and plastics and polymer technology major, observe.

With assistance from the Association of Rotational Molders, the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology attracted a record number of participants for its sixth annual Hands-On Rotational Molding Workshop.

The recent event brought five students and 40 plastics professionals to campus, representing 14 states, as well as Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

“It was quite satisfying to serve such a diverse group of individuals for this year’s workshop,” said Gary E. McQuay, PIRC engineering manager. “ARM was instrumental in promoting the workshop and providing discounts to those who registered on its website. Attracting a growing number of professionals is a testament to ARM’s commitment, the quality of the workshop and the outstanding facilities at Penn College.”

The two-day course focused on the connection among material preparation, molding parameters and final-part quality. Participants enjoyed hands-on experience and classroom training on higher-level rotational molding, as well as a trip to Playworld Systems in New Berlin to observe large-part molding.

“The course was great thanks to the awesome facilities, instructors and very informative hands-on training,” said Brock Snyder, of Akro-Plastics in Kent, Ohio.

David Black, of Rockwall Structures in Holladay, Utah, described the workshop as “an effective introduction to rotational molding, demonstrating and instructing many design and process considerations for producing quality parts.”

Added Corey Eystad, of Rhino Inc. in Maple Lake, Minnesota: “Great course. I can’t wait to get back and share the info. Would highly recommend this course.”

World-renowned rotational molding expert Paul Nugent, of MNOP Consulting in Reading, led the workshop’s classroom sessions. Nugent wrote the book “Rotational Molding: A Practical Guide” and travels across six continents offering his expertise.

Other industry representatives instructing at the event included Jerry Ramsey, owner of Akro-Plastics, and Tony Schoendorff, industry specialist focusing on thermoplastics at Chem-Trend in Howell, Michigan.

The hands-on portion of the workshop featured the expertise of Penn College faculty, staff and students. McQuay and John R. Bartolomucci, assistant professor of plastics and polymer technology, led lab experiences. Jessica A. Fischer, PIRC laboratory supervisor and project coordinator, and Ryan L. Newman, PIRC technician, served as assistants. They were joined by PIRC research assistants and plastics and polymer engineering technology majors Shelby M. Fischer and Samuel R. Scheide, both of Williamsport, and Jared W. Mahaffey, of Linden.

Shelby Fischer was one of five Penn College plastics and polymer technology students who attended workshop sessions. The others were Nawaf F. Alohali, Amar N. Alrushaidan, Raed O. Alghamdi and Mustafa S. Bubshait, all of Saudi Arabia.

Penn College is one of just five colleges in the nation offering degree programs accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. For information on the degrees and other majors offered by the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520 or visit

The PIRC is one of the top plastics technology centers in the nation for research development and education related to injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming. Its Rotational Molding Center of Excellence is a technical resource offering independent, hands-on applied research and development to the rotomolding community.

To learn more about the PIRC and the Rotational Molding Center of Excellence, call 570-321-5533 or visit

For more about Penn College, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014, visit, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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