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Ferris State University Adds Zeres Molding Machine, Expands Plastics Lab

Delivery of the Zhafir Zeres electric molding machine addresses social distancing requirements and provides students with the opportunity to see both electric and hydraulic technologies in action.
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Electric Zeres molding machine

Photo Credit: Ferris State University

It was reported on Nov. 10 that the Ferris State University (Big Rapids, Michigan) Plastics Engineering Technology Lab took delivery of a Zhafir Zeres electric molding machine in the first week of October by Absolute Haitian (Worcester, Massachusetts). The consigned ZE 400/120 (44 U.S. tons) is helping to address social distancing requirements posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new ZE, the University has been able to add an additional lab section for applied learning with one student at each machine rather than two, reducing the number of lab partners.

Jason Holbrook, Absolute Haitian’s Midwest regional sales manager and member of the Ferris State Plastics Engineering Technology Advisory Board, facilitated the consignment machine. Although stock machines are currently in high demand, Jason made the case for Absolute Haitian to deliver the ZE 400/120 to the university as quickly as possible. Absolute Haitian is the exclusive sales and service partner in the U.S. and Canada for Haitian International (Ningbo, China) of which Ningbo Haitian Machinery Co., Ltd. is said to be the world’s largest supplier of plastics injection molding machinery. 

“Once we understood the machine requirements, it was a quick turnaround. We were pleased with how fast the new machine arrived. We had students running the molding machine the day after it delivered for six hours. Jason has been a great supporter of our program over the years,” says Tom Van Pernis, assistant professor at Ferris State University. 

The Zeres is an electric machine complemented by a hydraulic circuit dedicated to injection carriage movement, core pull, ejectors and valve gates, providing students with the opportunity to see both electric and hydraulic technologies in action. Currently, the Ferris State lab is using the ZE for an Advanced Injection Molding course, and in the spring, they will add Introduction to Injection Molding on the Zeres.

“In my classes, I typically review the ins and outs of the molding machines first, focusing on the controller. Students in the advanced class were all familiar with our existing machines. This semester, I’ve been able to simulate an actual work situation with the new Zeres,” says Van Pernis. “All the students have been successful, quickly understanding the control and making parts on their own.”

He adds: “As our students graduate, they become plastics processors who may influence machine selection at their companies. It is a win for our students as well as for Absolute Haitian.”

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