MCC Places Third at Regional Foundry Casting Competition

MCC Applied Tech Students at 2016 AFS Competition

MCC Applied Technology students at the 2016 AFS competition in Milwaukee. Left to right: Brad Cook, Jacob Hetcel, Caleb Schuitema, Phill Daneff and Mac Ruiter.

For the third straight year, a team of MCC technology students earned a top three cash prize finish while contending against major universities at the 78th Annual Wisconsin Regional Foundry Conference and Exposition casting competition.

MCC was awarded $500 for third place at the Feb. 11 event held at Potawatomi Hotel in Milwaukee, WI.

MCC's Aluminum Hand Pump

The aluminum hand pitcher pump was designed by MCC applied technology students and earned third place at the 2016 regional AFS casting competition in Milwaukee.

Teams of students from each of the invited American Foundry Society (AFS) Student Chapters worked together to design, manufacture and present castings which were exhibited at the conference. Judging was based on the benefits delivered to the customer and the use of the casting process’ unique capabilities. Quality and workmanship were judged by industry experts.

Michigan Tech won the $2,500 first place award, while the University of Wisconsin-Platteville took the $1,000 second place prize. MCC, which had finished second the past two years, placed third among the six colleges and universities entered. Northern Iowa, University Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Purdue.

“MCC is a two-year community college competing against only four-year colleges and universities and is one of only two schools to have placed in the top three every year since the competition started,” said MCC Applied Technology Instructor Jeff Johnston, who serves as the educational liaison between the West Michigan AFS and MCC.

Representing MCC at the competition were MCC applied technology students and West Michigan AFS Student Chapter members Caleb Schuitema, Jacob Hetcel, Mac Ruiter, Brad Cook and Phill Daneff. The group was joined by Johnston and Mark Houston, the MCC foundry instructor.

For the competition, the MCC students designed and produced an aluminum hand pitcher pump for residential use.

“The advantages of it are its lightweight, non-corrosive, doesn’t rust, and is less expensive than what is currently on the market,” said Johnston, whose admittedly has never seen a similar design from that material on the market. “We also had a working model at the show. All the components were designed, cast and machined at MCC by MCC students.”

Johnston said the experience was an invaluable one for the students.

“The benefits for MCC students of going to a competition like this is to actually see what’s happening in the industry nationwide, to compete directly with the four-year universities and to come away with ideas for betterment of our program because of what they saw. It also allows them to see how many different companies are out there where their skill set is needed. At the same time, it gives the companies the opportunity to interact directly with our students and, in some cases, to offer them employment.”

Johnston singled out several local individuals and their companies for their strong support of the MCC project:
• Jeff Cook, sales manager, Eagle Alloy, Inc., Muskegon, MI, and the AFS director;
• Jay M. Morrison, technical sales, Carpenter Brothers, Inc., Muskegon, MI;
• William Bordeaux, production coordinator, Non-Ferrous Cast Alloys, Norton Shores, MI; and
• John Steger, HA International, Grand Rapids, MI.

For more information, contact Jeff Johnston at (231) 777-0246 or