Southern Union announces global partnership with Swiss 3D printer Sintratec


Special to the
Opelika Observer

Representatives from Southern Union State Community College and Swiss 3D printer developer Sintratec announced a global partnership at the Opelika campus’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing last Wednesday.
Sintratec founder and CEO Dominik Solenicki made the seven-hour flight to be present for the ceremony and donation of a KIT SLS printer for the community college’s additive manufacturing program. This printer will give students the opportunity to create parts that can be used as functional prototypes in mechanically demanding applications.
“Manufacturing technology is rapidly evolving, and we in the industry need bright young minds to help pave the future. I am delighted that we have found such a capable partner in Southern Union and can do our part in enabling the workforce of tomorrow,” Solenicki said.
The partnership will fully blossom this fall, as the college will begin offering coursework in advanced manufacturing with concentration in additive manufacturing. Through these courses, students will be given a full understanding of these processes and move toward a career in an industry requiring technicians capable of performing CAD design and slicing, printing, post finishing and maintenance.
Auburn business owner and SWIGRO Additive Manufacturing president Renato Gross voiced his support for the partnership.
“We’re delighted with Sintratec’s contribution and the community college’s system for developing a capable workforce to support the manufacturing industry. We talk daily with manufacturing customers (who) witness their need for having capable equipment and the competent people to succeed,” Gross said. “The direction from the industry is clear: to fully integrate additive manufacturing into the traditional manufacturing process.”
For several years, additive manufacturing has been a prominent part of the community college’s engineering and design program, helping it maintain its status as one of the most innovative statewide.
SUSCC president Todd Shackett said his school’s newly formed partnership solidifies the college’s commitment to training students with most cutting-edge technology available in order for them to successfully compete in Alabama’s expanding workforce.
“We are so appreciative of this partnership with Sintratec. Our students will reap endless benefits from having experience in additive manufacturing, allowing them to fine-tune skills that will make them marketable not just locally, but around the world,” Shackett said.
The Alabama Community College System’s vice chancellor of workforce development Jeff Lynn said this partnership will help students realize their full potential and opportunities available to them.
“We at the (ACCS) embrace the knowledge of our industries in order to train students within the classroom, with hands-on training in our labs and through work-based learning opportunities. It’s about building a world-class workforce that is prepared for careers, not just jobs.”
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