The DENSO North American Foundation has funded a computer-supported plasma cutting system valued at nearly $50,000 for a laboratory to support research and teaching in the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
At present, in order to produce intricate parts, faculty and students use a combination of processes for cutting metal including a saw, lathe and drilling machine, depending on the design complexity of the project. This new device, a computer-supported plasma cutting system, can reduce the cutting activity tenfold.
Plasma technology is employed for the shape cutting of steel and other metals of different thickness using a plasma torch. The computer-controlled plasma torch can usually cut up to six-inch thick steel plates in curved or angled shapes in a cost-efficint and precise manner.
Although the primary purpose is to enhance the training of aspiring automotive industry professionals, all students and faculty in the college will benefit from this new resource.
“DENSO has been an important partner in many of the new initiatives in the CSULB College of Engineering with significant impact on student success,” said Forouzan Golshani, dean of the CSULB College of Engineering. “Their greatest impact can be seen in the areas of design, manufacturing and testing, where their continued support over the past five years has resulted in the creation of a state of the art laboratory with most modern equipment. We value DENSO’s involvement in improving our educational programs and the foundation’s generous financial contributions.”
This is the latest of several grants DENSO has provided to the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Last year, the department received a $50,000 grant from the DENSO North American Foundation to acquire Object 30, a multi-functional and multi-material desktop 3-D printer. The laboratory addition allows students and faculty to actually print out objects rather than just pictures on paper.
Like the new plasma technology, the 3-D printer allows students to have hands-on experience on equipment they will be using in their professional careers, and this particular technology is rare on university campuses. It greatly facilitates highly specialized training and research in the quickly expanding field of additive-manufacturing, the current state-of-the-art design and manufacturing technology.
The DENSO North America Foundation was established in January 2001 to support the advancement of higher education in science, math, engineering and related business programs through grant-making to colleges and universities throughout North America. A priority is given to programs that demonstrate technological innovation and advance automotive engineering.
DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electric, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world's major carmakers. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, totaled US$38.4 billion. In North America, DENSO employs more than 14,000 people with consolidated sales totaling US$6.2 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.