Academia and Industry
Providing opportunities for both the student and professional practitioner to learn about a typical manufacturing process from theory through practice, as students do participating in some Engineering Co-Op programs today. This hands on training is beneficial to academia as well as industry. We provide the necessary technical background through presentation of soap manufacturing basics, then move to practical learning from the lab bench and moving to scale up at pilot and plant operations. The overall experience that we provide to participants in producing personal care products like bar soap and antiperspirants/deodorants generates genuine interest in the technology at the academic level and develops subject matter expertise commercially.
We provide a background in the fundamentals of these processes from raw materials through finished product specifications. The conversion progress is explained through pilot lab and pilot plant scale batching to generate samples for evaluation of both process and formula. Participants develop the necessary skills with formulation, processes, quality, mass balances and cost modeling for new products to grasp the practical details of personal care products manufacturing. This training enables the student to progress into new product development, understanding the process from the early stages of proof of concept to later stages of consumer evaluation and manufacturing feasibility.
Feedback received from both industrial and academic participants indicates the desire to have this type of opportunity as a practical learning tool. Our idea of this training originated in work with Engineering Co-Op students and expanded to industrial professionals. This training is proven to develop capable practitioners in the formulation and processing of personal care products.
Our training will provide a unique industrial applications experience that could easily develop and prosper at the university level. Students will actually learn about the manufacture of a personal care products and be able to produce goods for use or sale, eg : through the student store as revenue goods that would support the applications lab and/or other needs on campus.
The industrial applications concept would bring students closer to technologies that they could easily find themselves working with after graduation. Observing our Co-Op students in action and receiving their very positive feedback on the work that they do as they execute process development engineering projects indicates that this concept would successfully deliver multiple benefits to the student, the university and industry.
Additionally, with such a “remote” facility capable of doing actual research in consumer product/process development such an applications facility could serve as an extension of a pilot lab/pilot plant operation for a company focused on keeping NVO costs down. The future of industry will see continuing efforts for cost reduction through fewer overhead resources not directly related to the manufacture of products. The off-site academic resource that this concept represents will allow companies to continue valuable research to develop innovative products and processes that will keep their businesses growing and vital.