Browse By

Mini Mill shapes new learning experiences for machining technology students


Photo by Saul Rodriguez

By Jaime Garibay

The Machining Technology Program introduced a new machine, the Haas Mini Mill, into their shop this fall. The Haas Mini Mill is a compact steel mill used for solidifying molten steel and shaping it into nearly any design that students can come up with. The program will use the Mini Mill to create parts that they have designed in machining classes.

The introduction of the Haas Mini Mill will continue the expansion of Chemeketa’s Machining Technology Program. In addition to the new machine this fall, the program moved into its very own garage last year in Bldg. 20.

Duane Hibbeler, an instructor and the head of the program, is ecstatic about the opportunities the machine will provide his students.“Most of our machines are from one brand,” he said. “Having this new machine gives us diversity. The students now get to learn on multiple machines, controllers, and interfaces.”

As to when the machine would be available for students to use, Hibbeler said that it had been delivered, but still needed to be installed. Although the machine isn’t up and running yet, students have already begun learning the new system.

“The company we got the machine through offers further education about the equipment, so we have an additional controller like the one found on the machine in our classroom,” Hibbeler said. “They’ve been able to begin messing around and become familiar with the controller without an actual machine.”

Ray Benson, a second-year Machining Technology student, said that the addition of the Haas Mini Mill will allow students like him to learn a whole new way of machining parts. “The new machine is similar, but different compared to the machines we already have,” Benson said. “It does the same job, but the controller and software for making parts is different. The best way to describe it is like a Mac versus a PC.”

The Haas Mini Mill will be another useful tool to the expanding Machining Technology Program. The addition of this new machine will continue to give students experience with different technology in the machining field. “Any of the machines in our shop can be found in actual shops in the industry,” Hibbeler said. “We provide experience for getting into the workplace.”