INTEGRIS was graciously asked to be a return participant at the 2015 Discover Manufacturing Expo held at the Woodruff Technical Center in Peoria, IL. This annual 2-Day event allows high schoolers to engage manufacturing related companies about the various careers that they offer in the area. There were schools from Peoria, Pekin, Washington, Metamora and on, overall there were probably several hundred participants. The expo included hands on type demonstrations from companies like Caterpillar and Excel Foundry, as well as learning opportunities from the University of Illinois and other local universities. The students were allowed to freely visit the different displays by participating companies and ask as many questions or hear about what skill-sets are of value when it comes to manufacturing.

At INTEGRIS we brought along a 3D printer and a poster-board of a large gearbox project we designed. For us it was engaging the participants on the idea phase of manufacturing, before anything can be manufactured it has to be thought of, then designed, and then proven to work. We explained how the 3D printer is one of our go to tools in addition to our library of Design & Simulation Software so that we are able to feel and see how the part will work or if any corrections need to be made prior to sending it off to the manufacturing floor.

A special note to me was on Wednesday morning we were able to speak with Junior High students from Pekin’s Edison & Broadmoor schools about technology and manufacturing. Each group rotated throughout the gym seeing different hands-on demonstrations of how technology and manufacturing processes go hand in hand. With our 3D printer and various printed goods we brought along we were able to teach these open-minded junior high students about how 3D printing works, how it is being utilized across a variety of industries and how much of an impact that it can have on the manufacturing process. I was ecstatic about the range of questions that Brandon & I received from these students, and how inquisitive their minds can be, not to mention how much some of them already knew.

Throughout the 2-Day event we were able to interact with hundreds of impressionable young minds and show them that manufacturing is much more than just bending metal or welding, and utilizes a variety of skillsets from design to CAD to Finance to Welding and so on.

INTEGRIS was honored to be a part of the event once again and we look forward to participating in 2016 and continuing to leave a lasting mark on the future of manufacturing in Central Illinois.