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updated: 7/1/2014 7:27 AM

IIT engineering students tour Arlington Hts. manufacturing facility

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  • Al Panico, right, The LINE Group president and CEO, discusses manufacturing processes with IIT engineering students.

    Al Panico, right, The LINE Group president and CEO, discusses manufacturing processes with IIT engineering students.
    Courtesy of Fiona MacLaren-McLaren Photography

Scott McPherson

(Park Ridge, IL)-Sixteen Engineering Students from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) traveled to Arlington Heights last week for a tour of The LINE Group's Manufacturing Facility.

The LINE Group is a leading supplier of high quality precision metal stampings (deep draw stamping, progressive tooling, single operation and hand transfer), fabrications and electromechanical assemblies.

"It was great to meet these students, some of which represent the next generation of manufacturing," stated LINE Group President and CEO Al Panico (a TMA board member). "I am impressed by their dedication and early knowledge of engineering and manufacturing practices. These are exactly the type of students we look for to participate in TMA training programs."

IIT Industrial Technology and Management Program Adjunct Professor Blake M. Davis coordinated the plant tour along with TMA staff. "It's important to get out of the classroom and witness actual manufacturing," said Professor Davis. "I really appreciate Mr. Panico and his team at LINE Group for making time to demonstrate how they make what they make to our students."

A large number of students in the class are one-year exchange students from Brazil, who are also doing a full-time internship as part of the class. They are in the United States through the Scientific Mobility Program having already completed two semesters of engineering training at an American university. They come from all over the U.S., to participate in the Sustainable Energy Program with Professor Davis. They are all involved in design projects that address some aspect of energy conservation or renewable energy generation and will be displaying their final projects at IIT on Friday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Herman Hall.

Most of the students had never been to a manufacturing facility before and expressed their gratitude to Al Panico and everyone at the LINE Group. One of the students present was Havner Scherrer, an IIT Senior in Engineering. When asked by Mr. Panico why he chose engineering, Mr. Scherrer replied, "I like to know how things work and I have always liked building stuff."

About TMA: Eight small manufacturing companies who thought they could better themselves by associating with one another founded TMA in 1925. Through the years, members established programs and services that would help their businesses grow and prosper, train their employees, and provide medical and retirement benefits. As a result of these efforts, TMA has grown into an almost 1,000 member nonprofit organization representing more than 30,000 employees of precision manufacturing and supplier companies throughout Illinois.