New five-axis mill brings excitement and opportunities for Machine Trades students

Anoka Technical College unveiled an industry-leading piece of machinery within the Machine Trades Department in late August: a new five-axis mill from Matsuura Industries. The mill was delivered earlier in the summer to fanfare from college community. The mill will provide students with more accurate, current technical skills on a new standard, meeting industry demands and adding value to graduates entering the workforce.

“Acquiring this mill is equivalent to a Ferrari for the Automotive program,” said Matt Rogers, Anoka Tech Machine Trades Instructor. “It allows us to synchronize our program and students with what is already on industry floors.”

The acquisition was made possible through a combination of state and county funding, and fundraising donations from industry partners and generous individuals in the community. With a target goal of $325,000 to make this opportunity possible, Anoka Tech was able to meet and exceed expectations. Community partnerships and donations will allow students to provide a return on that investment in the form of a highly-skilled workers soon entering the field. Donors, community supporters and students were present during the unveiling.

“The timing of state funding and proactive fundraising allowed for this program-changing acquisition,” said Peter Gravett, Anoka Tech Foundation Development Director. “Giving is an emotional thing for donors. It is great to see this come to fruition for both students and donors alike.”

Current, standard technology is moving toward the five-axis mill. Three axes are standard in industry and the Machine Trades program, but the department aims to maintain their position as a leader in innovative training. Having five axes of mobility in design provides a more flexible, accurate product where it matters in industries like aerospace and other technology-forward, high-pressure industries with a low to zero margin of error. More accurate production in the initial stage lessens overall cost from error and reproduction as well.

“The five-axis machine is indicative of our efforts to make Anoka Tech best in class, going beyond what other institutions are doing to develop a local workforce with highly sought after skills” said Kent Hanson, Anoka Technical College President. “We are grateful for the support and proud of our partnerships with state, county, industry and individual donors.”

Faculty have been trained on the equipment and are ready to begin providing training to credit-seeking and non-credit students by the end of the year. Professional Workforce Training (PWT) at Anoka Tech will also provide customized training opportunities to businesses and community members who do not wish to pursue a full degree at the college. Jon Olsen from PWT will coordinate the new five-axis mill training for the college.

Providing practical skills and employability is priority in Machine Trades programs at Anoka Tech, as is forward thinking. “Targeting what is innovative and new, product quality, student learning, and the graduates who leave our program are what we’re about,” said Rogers. “Our faculty are still connected in industry outside of the classroom and keep students in the current trends.” “Thank you again to our donors and partners, this was truly a community project that will allow us to give back to industry and individuals through education,” Gravett concluded.

For more information about the Anoka Technical Machine Trades program, visit: AnokaTech.edu/ProgramsCourses/EngManufTech/MachineTrades

Donors and community partners view a demonstration of the new Matsuura Industries five-axis mill at Anoka Technical College. Acquisition of the state-of-the-art technology was made possible through corporate, community and private funding and partnerships.

Donors and community partners view a demonstration of the new Matsuura Industries five-axis mill at Anoka Technical College. Acquisition of the state-of-the-art technology was made possible through corporate, community and private funding and partnerships.

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