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Student Manufacturing Project Teaches Important Lessons

Manufacturing TechnologyBecause of the invention of the twist-off cap, there may be less demand for bottle openers these days, but a group of enterprising Pittsburg State University students know that the Pittsburg State name will make their product a hot seller.

Russ Rosmait's Manufacturing Production Control Management class has designed and is manufacturing a limited number of bottle opening kits that proudly sport the Pittsburg State name. Just 100 of the kits will be manufactured and the students say more than half have already been spoken for. Each set includes two bottle openers. The smaller of the two openers can be attached to a key chain while the larger is a "home edition" based on the letters PSU.

Rosmait said the point of the exercise is to create a project that reflects the complex real-world process of taking something from a concept all the way through manufacture and sales. Rosmait said the work began with a design development phase in which individual students developed ideas about products that they could manufacture and sell. From a wide range of suggestions, the possibilities were narrowed down to just a few from which prototypes were made. The class selected the winning project from those prototypes.

Like a real company, the students organized themselves so that each member of the class had a specific responsibility. Mike Verren, Pittsburg, Kan., is president of the business. Shiloh Williams, Columbus, Kan., is the production manager. Tim McCune, Parsons, Kan., is the personnel manager. Kyle Hutchison, Northville, Mich., is in charge of production control. Cody Haddock, Edgerton, Kan., is the materials manager. Eric Rodgers, Overland Park, Kan., is the finance manager. Andrew Tyler, Faucett, Mo., is the plant engineer. Chase Butcher, Chanute, Kan., and Craig Hellwig, Oswego, Kan., are the product engineers. Matt David, Dewey, Okla., and Jeremy Apt, Neosho, Mo., are responsible for quality control. Jake Adkins, Camden Point, Mo., and Quentin Holmes, Pittsburg, Kan., serve as methods engineers. Derek Spielbusch, St. Paul, Kan., and Charles Tullis, Oronogo, Mo., are the company's manufacturing engineers. And Doug Wright, Downers Grove, Ill., is the marketing manager.

The second half of the semester has been focused on the manufacture of the bottle opener sets and marketing.

Rosmait said that in addition to teaching students about the complex process required to take a product from concept to manufacture, the project is also teaching students important lessons about leadership and teamwork.

To order a bottle opener set or get more information, call the PSU Engineering Technology Department at 620-235-4350.

Publications

Manufacturing Engineering Technology Brochure
This 2- page publication lists reasons why students would choose a degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, career opportunities, what a technologist does on the job, and information about scholarships and financial aid.

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