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Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Academy students from Wayne Technical and Career Center (WTCC) visited Pearl Technologies on January 20, 2017. From 9:30 am until 11:10, the 23 students were introduced to the world of manufacturing and engineering.  The students were split into teams and rotated between three stations - shop floor, R&D, and corporate.

The shop floor tour was given by Nik Green, Sr. R & D Manufacturing Engineer.  Nik walked the students around Pearl's welding and fabrication, machine shop, assembly, inventory and QC areas.  Students were able to see how all departments within the company interacted and worked together to complete jobs and tasks. 

The tour covered CAM (Computed Aided Manufacturing) and how prints are created in engineering and then sent to the CNC Router.  Ray Wright, Design Engineer, even pulled up SolidWorks renderings to show the WTCC students what it means to be an engineer at Pearl.  

After touring the shop floor, the group noted that Pearl makes a wide variety of products that range in size from a tiny 1/8" diameter punch to large, 35' Gusset Boards. Furthermore, they were impressed with how similar Pearl’s operations were to items being taught to the Advanced Manufacturing group for engineering, welding and machining. 

The R&D part was led by Bill Gillette, Manufacturing Manager.  His portion concluded with the students using Pearl's Flex 3 unit, a revolutionary attachment that allows customers to punch multiple punch profiles with just one machine.  Using the Flex 3, students punched their own holes in a Pearl bag.  They also watched, first hand, high speed punching on a Ball and Die Unit. Bill also showed the group how a Rotary Perf Unit perf-slits plastic film.

The corporate portion was a discussion about Non-Disclosures and the importance of safety--training, first aid, proper gear and protocol.  Linda Gillette, VP Operations, explained Pearl's history and spoke about the possible job opportunities available to students who pursue trade or engineering careers.  

"Students were shown videos of blown film making and a converting operation, giving them a better understanding of what extruding and bag making is all about.  They were surprised to find how much both industries touch their lives on a daily basis," said Linda.  After looking at samples, one student stated that, when he got home, he was going to see what types of holes were in his bags and containers.