Grant benefits tech department

Millersville University’s Department of Technology and Industry students will soon be able to box up a new industrial experience, thanks to a generous donation of ArtiosCAD software, valued at $449,300, from Esko Graphics, Inc. to Dr. Mark Snyder, who is developing a class on packaging science as part of the Graphic Communication option.

Snyder received a separate $40,000 grant from the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) in 2007 to develop a packaging curriculum. The ICPF grant was matched by the university for the purchase of  Gerber Innovations/Datatech samplemaker/plotter table, which interfaces with Esko Graphics software .

“I was surprised at the size of the gift and the amount of software donated,” said Snyder.  He requested 25 seats of ArtiosCad Designer software, but received the whole suite of ArtiosCAD software, which includes eight different applications commonly used in the printing and packaging industries. Snyder explained, “Few schools of Millersville’s size receive software gifts of this magnitude.”

In his independent study with Snyder, senior TJ Remaley, who is majoring in Technology Education with a minor in Technical Theatre, will be the first Millersville student to work with the new equipment and programs.

“The software is being installed by IT in Osburn Hall’s Advanced CAD Lab as we speak, so I will have access to the program in the very near future,” said Remaley.

“In the meantime, Dr. Snyder and I have run a few pre-loaded package designs on the plotter table using corrugated board scraps that we have in our labs.  So far, I’ve found it fascinating and I can’t wait to work on designs of my own.”

Remaley said, “Dr. Snyder and I will be spending part of the semester working together learning the ins and outs of the ArtiosCAD software, which essentially is a computer-aided drafting and design program that designs packaging, as well as the actual plotter table, which cuts, perforates, and scores various types of corrugated board and paperboard.”

Remaley also plans to use what he learns with Dr. Snyder to create various packages to solve various design problems.

Snyder said, “This gift will have a tremendous impact on Millersville University’s ability to produce graduates who are ready to enter the considerable printing and packaging industry that contributes to the regional economy.”

Remaley will be setting up a facility tour with a local packaging company to see firsthand how their business utilizes this software and equipment.

There are many opportunities in this area to work in packaging, according to Snyder.   Packaging Corporation of America in Lancaster is a world-class company, employing approximately 8,350 people nationwide. In 2007, PCA produced about 2.4 million tons of containerboard and shipped about 31.2 billion square feet (BSF) of corrugated products, which produced net sales of $2.3 billion, according to their website.

As a writing component to this course, Remaley will be designing and creating an illustrated “How-To Guide” for the software and equipment to assist Dr. Snyder in implementing an entire course in packaging design.

“This is a brand new program never before seen at Millersville University so it is an honor to get to be one of the first to use it,” said Remaley.

“Hopefully my work in learning the equipment and writing the how-to guide will be able to benefit future industry & technology majors who, thanks to Dr. Snyder’s hard work in obtaining the software and equipment, will be taking full-blown packaging design courses here at Millersville.”