01/06/21 Manufacturing Engineering students ‘turn’ their hands to mini lathe

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South Eastern Regional College (SERC)

1st Jun 2021

Training for Success Level 2 and Level 3 Manufacturing Engineering students at SERC have been experiencing a real-life work scenario by creating a miniature lathe as part of their project-based learning (PBL).

The project which has been underway for two years involved students from different manufacturing engineering programmes at different levels was completed recently.

SERC’s Kelvin McGreeghan, Engineering Lecturer, who has been tutoring the students on lathe production, comments, “Making a machine is a complex task and requires students to be able to make parts that all have to fit together and function – this project is as close to real life manufacturing as it gets, right here in the College.”

He added, “I came from an aerospace background where I made parts for aircraft and it was just the same as what the students have been doing here – parts were manufactured in different places and by different people, and they all had to fit and work together. Turning is one of the skills that these students are taught, so they were already interested in it, and have aptly demonstrated their turning skills in helping to make the parts for the lathe.  Essentially, it means they are work-ready to be part of a manufacturing team and the experience will give them the edge when they are progressing to employment or further studies.”

The final student to work on the project before completion, Kyle Roddy, 19, from Carrowdore, he said, “Working on the lathe and mill project has shown me what is possible with the skills that I have gained – these include the ability to work with tight tolerances and very precise measurements. This was important because all parts had to fit and operate together without any additional stress on them.”

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