ACE CNC Machining Training Addresses Critical Workforce Needs in Machining Composites, Metals

March 08 (2021

Nearly 1,000 students and adults across America are taking advantage of America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) computer numerical control (CNC) machining training launched, in part, by IACMI, in December. The new initiative uses online learning and machining simulation, as well as in-person machine time, to teach essential manufacturing skills to help tackle the nation’s growing manufacturing workforce gap.

According to IACMI Chief Technology Officer Uday Vaidya, who also serves as University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Advanced Composite Manufacturing, the ACE CNC machining training program will focus on various aspects of composites machining in relation to design software interface. The composites machine tools and composites machining falls into two categories: (a) composite tools/molds; (b) composite parts machining with custom tools (drills, cutting blades etc.). Both continuous and discontinuous fiber composites & thermoset-thermoplastic composites have unique challenges in terms of fiber attrition, burring, edge debonding, surface blooming for operations such as drilling, milling, planning, surface textures and joints. The design software will be used to generate composite friendly geometries and tool path optimization trials. The work will include both experimental and modeling in an interactive manner with case studies included. This program will help us to develop a systematic understanding for machine tools and relationships for composite materials. The training gained from program will be widely disseminated consistent with other aspects of the program.

A national initiative to restore the prominence of the U.S. machine tools sector through advances in training and technology, ACE is supported by the Department of Defense DOD Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program from the Office of Industrial Policy. DOD is utilizing the scientific expertise of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the workforce development leadership of IACMI. IACMI is partnering with The University of Tennessee (UT) and Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) in Knoxville to pilot the new machine tool training framework.

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