(MARSHALL, Texas) – Texas State Technical College Automation and Controls Technology instructors Douglas Clark and Troy Powledge recently took 10 of the program’s students on a field trip to STEMCO in Longview, Texas.
“Some of these students have never even been in a manufacturing facility in any way,” Clark said. “We wanted them to see all of the stuff that we’ve been teaching them in action. They got to see multiple things being produced and what it takes to produce them on an automated level.”
STEMCO is known primarily for manufacturing parts for truck wheels, such as hubcaps and axle fasteners. The TSTC students received a firsthand presentation of the automated robots and programmable logic controllers used in assembling the parts.
STEMCO technical engineering manager Mark Myers, one of the leaders of the tour, has worked for the company for 19 years. Like TSTC, STEMCO is safety- and family-oriented, just one of the reasons that Myers was happy to give the students a tour.
“The students that were here today asked really good questions and were engaged,” Myers said. “I’d love to see them keep going with their technical understanding.”
Student Tristan Matthew was looking to find more information on STEMCO and the technology it uses.
“I thought (the tour) was great; it was everything I expected,” Matthew said. “My favorite part was when we got to go to the testing lab, and we got to see how they test the hubcaps and the whole control system behind running the motors for those.”
Fellow student Taylor Nealy was happy to find that the majority of the equipment used by STEMCO is similar to the technology he has worked with at TSTC.
“To see what we’ve been learning in class in the real world is very intriguing,” Nealy said.
According to onetonline.org, the need for electromechanical and mechatronics technologists and technicians in Texas was forecast to increase 12% between 2020 and 2030. The website stated that the median salary for these technicians in the state is $50,630.
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.