East Williamson County Precision Machining Technology

(HUTTO, Texas) – Students in Texas State Technical College’s Precision Machining Technology program at the East Williamson County campus will benefit from training on a new computer numerical control (CNC) machine.

The program recently purchased its first Haas Automation UMC 500 5-axis mill CNC machine using Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education funding.

“Manufacturing environments are investing heavily in 5-axis machining, and many are moving as quickly as they can toward that capability,” said Hunter Henry, a TSTC Career Services associate at the East Williamson County campus. “It’s critically important that the education a student receives here at TSTC is closely aligned with the realities of the work they will be moving into.”

The machine has been operational since early February. Recently fourth-semester students have been developing programs to create small projects, with faculty members operating the machines. Starting this fall, there will be a formal curriculum for the program’s fourth-semester students to follow.

“Anything we do with our curriculum, industry is involved,” said Apolinar Ruiz, an instructor in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program at the East Williamson County campus.

The new machine can work with aluminum, brass, steel, stainless steel, and plastic.

Alan Bowles, of Austin, is a Precision Machining Technology student who said he is eager to create a small aluminum Christmas tree for his wife on the 5-axis machine using a plan from Titans of CNC Academy.

“I look forward to being able to do spirals and just do multiple operations,” he said.

Japheth Tomecek, of Thorndale, who is working on an associate degree in the Precision Machining Technology program, said he gets nervous when operating the program’s 3-axis CNC machines. But he said he likes watching the 5-axis machine in action.

“You get a super-nice shiny and precise part,” he said.

Tomecek said he hopes the programming experience he will gain by using the 5-axis machine will help him in his job search. He said he wants to work at Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s production facility in Taylor.

Precision Machining Technology programs at TSTC’s East Williamson County, Harlingen and Marshall campuses have the 5-axis machines. The machines will eventually also be installed at the Fort Bend County, North Texas and Waco campuses.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu

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