Museum staff and our advisory teacher, from the River Valley Technical Center (RVTC) in Springfield, Vermont; recruit, hire and train high school student interns to demonstrate the historic machine tools to museum visitors during the summer. This comprehensive internship program has structured learning goals, metrics and school credit. Employees from local manufacturing companies serve as advisors. We want more teachers to learn about machining and manufacturing, and to enable more students to learn these skills too. In our manufacturing cycle interns produce a key chain that visitors can see being made and purchase to help sustain the program.
In 2011, Heidenhain, a manufacturer of precision measurement and control equipment from Schaumburg, IL, gave the shop a huge new asset. Similar to the renowned manually operated Serial No 1 Bridgeport displayed near the WMS, the new 1980s Bridgeport milling machine was outfitted with Heidenhain’s MILLPWR 3 conversion kit into a fully capable 3 - AXIS CNC machine tool.
Heidenhain sent Product Specialist, Danny Vitullo, to get the machine up and running. Vitullo dedicated a week to setup, and spent time training the interns and the museum’s staff and volunteers. The student interns quickly mastered the new machine, and visitors are pleased to see another machine in action, showcasing the ‘old’ with the ‘new.’
“We enthusiastically support the efforts of the American Precision Museum, and we are proud to be members of such a significant and historically strong representation of precision manufacturing and the Industrial Revolution. The many technological advancements we enjoy today are due to the development of the machine tools of yesterday, and there’s no end in sight. Our donation to this museum helps showcase just one more aspect. “ - Rick Korte, President and Managing Director of Heidenhain
*Innovation Station is the new name for The Working Machine Shop. The change was made in 2018.