Mechatronics Engineering Technology prepares for careers in high speed packaging

Adapting to the growing need for trained engineering technologists within the high speed packaging industry is the emphasis of a redirected Purdue University Calumet bachelor’s degree program in Mechatronics Engineering Technology.

            The program, offered through Purdue Calumet’s School of Technology, combines mechanical design, manufacturing and electrical control within a foundational context of packaging machinery. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has approved the name change of a degree program previously called Manufacturing Engineering Technology.

            “This program prepares students for jobs as machine designers, packaging engineers, automation specialists and service technicians among others in the stable, exciting field of high speed packaging,” Purdue Calumet Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology James Higley said. “Students will gain a broad electrical and mechanical background in preparation for outstanding careers designing, installing and troubleshooting the complex equipment that produces and packages items consumers purchase daily.”

            Purdue Calumet has partnered with the Packaging Machinery Manufacturer’s Institute (PMMI) and member companies to redirect a manufacturing degree program that will equip graduates “with a highly sought-after skill set,” PMMI President & CEO Chuck Yuska said.

            Thanks to technical assistance and donations provided by such PMMI companies as Balluff, Bimba Manufacturing, B&R Automation, Dorner Manufacturing, Elau Incorporated, Fox IV Technologies, Goodman Packaging Equipment, Morrison Container Handling Solutions, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric and Triangle Packaging Machinery, Purdue Calumet is developing a modern packaging laboratory on campus.     

            Additionally, another PMMI company, Fastec Imaging Corp., recently presented to Purdue Calumet its latest high speed digital camera.

             “In the lab, our students will use the camera to videotape (packaging) equipment in action and then look at the tapes in slow motion to detect and, subsequently, correct any problems,” Higley said. “We are extremely appreciative of the support PMMI and its members have provided us to advance our program.”    PMMI also has awarded $4,000 for student scholarships this fall. 

            Other information about the Mechatronics Engineering Technology program can be obtained by contacting Professor Higley at 219/989-2584; 800/HI-PURDUE, ext. 2584; or higley@calumet.purdue.edu.