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A Journey of Continuous Improvement for Lowell Inc.

Lowell Inc, a renowned manufacturer of precision-machined components for the medical device as well as aerospace industries since 1964, recently embarked on a journey of continuous improvement through the use of innovative industry-leading technologies and sustainable learning methods.

As a means to achieving that targeted goal, more than 20 Lowell, Inc. Quality and Inspection employees completed a four month long customized education program funded via a Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Participants learned several key subject areas while addressing the applications side of a well-qualified manufactured product. Delivered by several of Hennepin Technical College Quality faculty, training covered the tips and tricks of using industry leading GD&T evaluation software to enable proper evaluation of the measured data, and implementation of Qc-Gage and Qc-Calc software to collect and monitor in-process part specific data for process control and overall improvement in product quality.

The program started with lecture type training covering the areas of Quality Basics with emphasis on costs of poor quality, Measurement Uncertainty Basics with the intent to improve the validity of measured results, Calibration Overview to educate the TAR and TUR impact on measurement methods, and GD&T Refresher course to highlight the importance of tolerancing strategies used by customers in conjunction with using the right equipment for the job.

The students learned the concepts of Gage R&R, used widely across all industries, to improve their understating of gage selection and qualification. A broad overview of FDA, as well as, ISO Regulations and Requirements was expressed to these students as it pertains to their roles and responsibilities.

This program provided Lowell Inc. with a sustainable employee retention process for the in-demand metrology professional and at the same time enabled HTC to expand it’s training program offerings its QA certificate as well as Customized Training courses.

The Best Place to Start is at the Beginning

Hennepin Technical College’s Quality Assurance in Manufacturing occupational certificate:

Certificate Required Courses
MACH 2600 – Introduction to Quality Assurance
MACH 2610 – Inspection Processes
MACH 2440 – Quality Assurance
MACH 2615 – Inspection Equipment & Techniques
MACH 2620 – Quality Systems

This is the best opportunity to jump into the course sequence — at the beginning. The program is focused on the planned and systematic activities that are part of a quality system of manufacturing requirements for a product or service.

In addition to the foundational principles which govern advanced manufacturing practices, this 16-credit Occupational Certificate includes training that allows students to achieve proficiency in quality assurance practices and techniques.

Precision measurement principles are introduced and reinforced through practical, real-world examples. Students become familiar with coordinate measuring machines, optical comparators and vision inspection technology used in leading manufacturing facilities for quality assurance and quality improvement activities.

Classes are offered in the evening to accommodate students working in the manufacturing field. To learn more about this program and/or register for classes, visit:



HTC M-Powered Program Receives Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grant

M-Powered is an award-winning, fast-track training program that has successfully trained hundreds of Minnesotans for a manufacturing career. M-Powered has primarily served dislocated workers, the unemployed, and underemployed and provides priority service to veterans and spouses of veterans.

HTC recently was awarded a $446,090 Minnesota Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant to train 84 new and current manufacturing employees. The state funding to train underemployed workers or entry level manufacturing employees at Hennepin Tech totals $446,090 and is more than matched by more than $600,000 from the 10 companies that participate in the program and more than $40,000 from Hennepin Tech. The total $1.2 million investment will train at least 84 students in metal forming and CNC machining.

The three-year project will train employees of Morrissey, Inc., Bloomington; Minnesota Grinding, Inc., Minneapolis; Boker’s, Inc., Minneapolis; EJ Ajax & Sons, Fridley; Marshall Manufacturing Company, Minneapolis; Pellco Machine, Inc., St. Michael; Top Tool, Minneapolis; PERBIX, Brooklyn Park; Harvey Vogel Manufacturing Co., Woodbury; and Dayton Rodgers, Minneapolis. 

HIRED (a Minneapolis based organization that provides personalized career counseling, training, and placement for job seekers while providing employers with workforce solutions and qualified job candidates to bridge the growing skills gap), will recruit, evaluate and enroll 42 entry-level, low-income trainees for the training project and match each one with a case manager for coaching and support services. Both entry-level trainees and current partner manufacturer employees will attend classroom instruction for Precision Metal Stamping or CNC Machine Operator. 

After successfully completing classroom training, the entry-level trainees will competitively interview for a structured 480-hour paid on-the-job training (OJT) with the manufactures.  All participants will earn college credits and have the opportunity to earn NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) credentials. 

For additional information visit HTC’s M-Powered website or email Rich Kelly. View all M-Powered Grant Signing photos here.

Last updated by drogalla : 2017-03-21 10:01:51