CNC Software team visits Suncoast Technical College’s Precision Machining Lab

The takeaway? “Impressive!”

CNC Software’s president Meghan West and educational sales director Dan Newby, recently toured Suncoast Technical College’s Precision Machining Lab in Sarasota, Florida. Certified Mastercam resellers Dr. Stephie Holmquist Johnson and Terry Johnson hosted the CNC Software team to the Sunshine State.

The 5,000 sq. ft. facility at Suncoast combines classroom, machining, and computer design (CAD) areas – complete with computer stations and manual and advanced CNC machinery, emulating a real-world shop floor. In the classroom students learn manufacturing-related math and blueprint reading and CNC programming using Mastercam® CAD/CAM software. In the machining area, students learn how to set up and operate manual machines such as a contour saw, drill press, lathe, milling machine, grinder, and how to set up and run CNC machines. Students are also trained in the use and care of precision measurement instruments, layout and inspection tools, micrometers and other gages. Projects and labs are all designed to help students learn and gain confidence in basic to advanced manufacturing methods to be “job ready” after just one year of the 1200 hour program – part of the College’s “Career in a Year” training initiative for a host of fields.

“This Lab is amazing, really impressive,” said Ms. West. “It is well organized. Every tool, every piece of equipment is used and has a purpose. Kudos to instructor Ed Doherty and his team for establishing this practical training curricula and facility that lead to jobs that manufacturers desperately need to fill, not just in Florida, but all over our nation.”

Former machinist and now instructor, Mr. Doherty created the “Precision Machining & CNC Automation” program about four years ago at Suncoast Technical College. “There was a need in the Sarasota area for manufacturers to ‘fast track’ employees to get CNC training,” said Doherty. “The administrators wanted to fill that need and also ‘grow our own’ skilled people in Florida. Often local manufacturers had to recruit from other states. We’re changing that by establishing training programs that our neighboring companies actually help formulate. Mastercam is a crucial component of that training because that’s the most popular CAM software in industry.”

In addition to its daytime class schedule, the College will add a new “Fast Track Advanced CNC” evening school in January 2017 and a Mastercam Certification evening class in February 2017.