Suncoast Community College Uses LearnCNC for Haas to Prepare Students for NIMS Certification

Suncoast Community College Uses LearnCNC for Haas to Prepare Students for NIMS Certification

Suncoast Technical College Students

Suncoast Technical College Students

Dear Immerse2Learn,

I started teaching in 2013 after 30 years in the machining industry. I was contacted by a salesman at a local Haas HFO Outlet about an instructor opportunity at a school in my county. I had been working for a major defense contractor 2 hours away in Orlando. I thought this was a great chance to do something different close to home. So I interviewed and made the leap about 30 days before classes were to begin in August.

Suncoast Technical College had a brand new facility and has been in the community since 1967. They had closed the machining program about 8 years previously. The local manufacturing association SAMA came to Suncoast to ask for a training program as they were in need of machinists. The school was reluctant, but after a study was performed it showed that there was many machinist jobs available under many different names. It made sense. The SAMA committee then did some research and got a grant to get started. They purchased 2 Haas CNC machines (TM-1P mill and ST10 lathe), 12 Haas CNC control simulators and LearnCNC for Haas from Immerse2learn.com.

When I arrived for my 2 week prep before classes started, I had an empty machine shop awaiting purchase approvals, delivery, electric and more. All we had were 3 text books, 2 bench grinders, 12 Haas Simulators and LearnCNC for Haas from Immerse2learn.com. No other curriculum. I had 16 anxious adult students in the classroom staring out at the empty shop and I had to make something happen!

Since our machines had not arrived yet, we began using LearnCNC for Haas immediately. I was actually learning with the students at the same time. After about a week are class was really making a lot of progress. We would take 50% of the day (3 hours) and work Mon – Fri every morning on LearnCNC for Haas. I added the written LearnCNC for Haas lessons in the resources and had the class run all programs with the virtual CNC for Haas mill and lathe emulators. I also had everyone use the Haas Workbooks for mill and lathe for a different look and more written programming. Eventually, I was able to have all students save the programs on USB drives and bring them to the classroom to run in the Haas simulators. These allowed me to critique and adjust what they had worked on. My motto was, “They needed to get passed the simulators before they could run a real machine.”

Suncoast1

Suncoast students spend most time with hands-on projects doing real world projects.

As machines were dribbling in, we were waiting on inspections and electric. The class also got a good lesson in rigging as we moved manual machines and set them. I made the joke that they were getting special instruction not available to next year’s class. So after Christmas break (3 months later) we had full power and machines – now we could do some work. LearnCNC for Haas from Immerse2learn.com totally saved the day!

The students and I are very happy with LearnCNC for Haas from Immerse2learn.com. All students learn at different levels and speeds and I can track that through the online testing and progress reports with grading. It also has non-CNC training such as safety, math, print reading, and measurement that the apprentice machinist and companies need.

Suncoast3

Capstone Student Projects

I also post and print out certifications in CNC operation and programming from the built in certification generator. This allows me to recognize and reward my students. In addition, some of them had no experience in a manufacturing world and no proof that they had the talent to do this trade. I also used it as a tool to encourage stragglers to catch up. One of my ace students was a middle age Asian woman who worked third shift at a gas station and would come to school in the morning. She was usually ahead of the others and when I posted her certifications, the other students took notice. In the end they all got certificates. She was also able to use LearnCNC for Haas at home.

This year we are starting a night course and this will test the ability to learn from home as 6 hours per week are going to be dedicated to online training with LearnCNC for Haas. This class will be a 300 hour course for entry level CNC Operator or the experienced machinist that needs CNC Training. I expect the experienced machinists to get through the whole program including G code programming while we teach setup and running of the Haas machines.

Suncoast_NIMS1

Suncoast students successfully completed 106 NIMS credentials in 2016.

This year we are starting a night course and this will test the ability to learn from home as 6 hours per week are going to be dedicated to online training with LearnCNC for Haas. This class will be a 300 hour course for entry level CNC Operator or the experienced machinist that needs CNC Training. I expect the experienced machinists to get through the whole program including G code programming while we teach setup and running of the Haas machines.

The CNC Operator NIMS certification in mill and turn is the goal of this night class. The full time 1200 hour day course will have NIMS certifications in CNC Milling and Turning Level one.

We have added another Haas VF-2 with 4th axis. We have also added LearnCNC for Fanuc from Immerse2learn.com per our advisory requests. It is very convenient to have both LearnCNC for Haas and Fanuc in the same online training system!

 

 

Many thanks to Immerse2learn and HTEC for all of their support!

Sincerely,

Ed Doherty
Precision machining and CNC Instructor
Suncoast Technical College
Precision Machining & CNC Automation
Edward.doherty@sarasotacountyschools.net

About Ed Doherty:

30 years experience in Machining – mostly CNC.
Industry Experience: Aerospace, defense, medical, motorsport, job shop etc.
CNC Machining Experience: Mazak, Matsuura, Mori-Seiki, Hitachi- Seiki, Mitsui-Seiki,
OKK, Okamoto, Okuma, Haas, Prototrak, Fryer, Milltronics, Kitamura, Fadal and many more.

Program Established 2013

  • 2014 job placement rate 94%
  • 3 grading periods: OCP a = 300 Hours OCP b = 450 hours OCP c = 450 hours 
  • Percent female = 5%
  • 11 month full time day program 1200 hours
  • 5 month part time 300 hour evening program

Full time Program

The goal of the fulltime program is to teach an entry level student to be an apprentice machinist in the modern machining world in which most shops have CNC machinery. The manufacturing association was in total agreement with that direction.

Evening Program

The evening program goal is to teach an entry level student to work as a CNC Operator and simple machine shop tasks as measurement, maintenance etc. The evening course goal will also teach experienced machinists an introduction to CNC machining.

We use MasterCam X7 and X8 in class for the more advanced students as an introduction. We also hope to have a stand-alone class in CAD/CAM. We have 3 CNC Haas machines VF2 with 4th axis, Haas TM-1P and Haas ST 10 CNC lathe along with a 2 axis Prototrak CNC mill. We follow NIMS skills certification and will be involved in Skills completion this year in CNC milling and turning. We also teach manual machining but on a reduced level from previous manual only programs.

Suncoast Website