TSTC Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Technology students touring Kohler's factory in Brownwood include (from left) Grant Frazier, Joshua Davidson, Daniel Barlow, Alfred Molina, Cameron Lorenz, and Branson Gaylor. , Jonathan Gunn, Joseph Garza, Colton Lorenz, and Devon Fleming. (Photo provided by TSTC)

brown wood Texas State University's Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Technology students recently gained a deeper understanding of what they're working on in the lab as part of their degree requirements, from the front door to the end.

Earlier this month, 10 students and instructors toured Kohler's factory in Brownwood. Students walked through a more than 1 million square foot facility that manufactures bathtubs and toilets.

“This is the second time we have had students tour our facility,” Tony Montoya, plumbing and pipe fitting technology instructor, said in a news release. “We want our students to see first-hand the products we study in our lab.”

Students watched as a robotic arm and Kohler employees worked together to assemble the toilet, from pouring the mold to applying the glaze.

The Brownwood facility produces more than 1,000 toilets in five different styles each day in a foundry the size of three football fields, company officials said. The spray robot uses 3D imaging to determine how much glaze to apply.

“We want students to see the technical aspects of creating each product,” Montoya said.

For Waco student Jonathan Gunn, the tour was an eye-opener.

“I recently broke one of my toilets, and seeing how quickly people put it together gave me a newfound respect for this product,” he said in a release. . “I like the hands-on approach each person takes to make sure each piece is correct. The toilets are more detailed than I expected.”

Branson Gaylor of Waco, a second-year student in the program, said Koehler employees carefully explained each step of the process.

“The way things were explained was very informative,” he said. “I was intrigued by some of the things I was able to learn about manufacturing these products.”

One fact the students were surprised to learn was that the factory's kiln is 464 feet long, more than 150 feet higher than the Statue of Liberty, and its maximum temperature is 2,235 degrees Fahrenheit, higher than the air temperature. was. lava.

The Brownwood factory ships 20,000 to 30,000 units each week and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2025.

According to onetonline.net, the demand for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is expected to grow by 22% between 2020 and 2030. The average annual salary for these jobs in Texas is $55,800, according to the website.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Certificate in Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology at its Waco campus. Starting in 2025, the program will be offered at his TSTC Abilene location.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

Source link