February 2015 – Acme Wire Products Co., Inc. recently donated a CNC Wire Forming Machine and tooling to Three Rivers Community College to support the new sheet metal fabrication program that the college is developing with a $1.28 million federal grant. The machine will allow students enrolled in a variety of programs to learn step by step programming functions. Acme Wire Products has used the equipment to provide many of the 3-dimensional wire forms for the steel and stainless steel components that could not be made by more traditional bending and forming methods.
Acme Wire Products is replacing the machine with newer equipment that will provide bending capabilities up to .500 diameter. “The machine still has a lot of life left in it but we needed space on our manufacturing floor for the new equipment.” said Michael Planeta, VP Operations at Acme Wire Products. “We feel that the students at Three Rivers will benefit from learning how to program and operate the CNC equipment and this will made them more marketable from an employment standpoint when they graduate from Three Rivers.” Three Rivers Community College President, Mary Ellen Jukoski commented, “The College appreciates this generous donation from a major industry partner. This donation from Acme Wire Products in Mystic, CT is a perfect example of private/public partnerships to educate tomorrow’s workforce.”
In addition to the equipment and tooling, Acme Wire Products will also provide assistance in programming the machine and will also be donating wire to be used in the initial use of the machine. Mike Lopez, Dean of Administration at Three Rivers commented that the donation of this wire forming equipment, supplies and training on the use of the machine will enable TRCC to apply other grant funds towards the purchase of other needed manufacturing lab equipment.
Acme Wire Products is a member of EAMA, the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, which has strongly supported the eastern Connecticut Community Colleges and their efforts to provide manufacturing, machining and technical courses which enhance the skill sets of the workforce of Eastern Connecticut. Chris Jewell, President of Collins & Jewell, and the Chair of the EAMA South Council, stated that he was thrilled that Acme Wire Products is being a trailblazer with this generous donation that will ultimately lead to more opportunities for students, and also by allowing local manufacturing companies to have their employees learn new skills utilitizing this new, state-of-the-art manufacturing lab.