DENSO, headquartered in Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc., located in Long Beach, is the firm’s aftermarket headquarters for the Americas.
“The mission of Cal State Long Beach centers on student success.We graduate students who are well-prepared for their chosen careers,” said CSULB Interim President Donald Para. “For this campus to continue to realize this goal, we need corporate and community partners who provide a critical edge in our student’s education. We are honored and very grateful that DENSO continues to be a significant partner for the College of Engineering in providing a high quality education for our students.”
CSULB College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani echoed the president’s sentiments. “The College of Engineering wants to educate the best, highly qualified students who will enter the work force and be able to immediately support the mission of their employers,” he said. “DENSO’s role has been phenomenal in enabling us to educate students on modern equipment and up-to-date technology.” Aside from Para and Golshani, other speakers at the event included DENSO Vice President and Senior Regional Manager Richard Shiozaki and CSULB Provost David Dowell.
DENSO has been a strong supporter of CSULB’s College of Engineering. Through the DENSO Foundation, the company has donated between $25,000 and $50,000 annually for a number of years in support of student activities, the college’s lecture series, its Innovation Challenge competition and other areas. University officials indicated the company’s support has been instrumental in defining the college’s presence in the area of design and manufacturing.
“The DENSO Foundation since its establishment in 2001 has provided more than $6 million to higher education institutions such as Cal State Long Beach to assist students in the area of engineering and business,” Shiozaki noted. “Supporting education is part of the DENSO way to become a responsible corporate citizen in the areas that we operate to support the development of future engineer and business leaders.
“It is my hope,” he continued. “that the DENSO Design and Manufacturing Laboratory that we are dedicating today will not only provide an environment for students to advance their education but also develop their innovative ideas and turn them into new products for society.”
The newly named lab offers CSULB students a place for computer-aided design, manufacturing and non-destructive testing. Facilities include an assembly robot, a CNC milling machine (a computer controlled vertical mill with the extra freedom to precisely machine part) and a 3D Printer with the ability to rapidly prototype three-dimensional solid objects of virtually any shape from a digital model.
“The lab’s robot can do a number of things depending on how we program it,” Dean Golshani explained. “Manufacturing robots such as this usually work on a railing to enable its mechanical arm to move and perform such tasks as making holes, edging and placing or moving objects. There are so many things that these robots can do that we are looking to acquire a number of them.”
Other equipment stored nearby include a plasma cutter used to cut steel and other materials of different thicknesses using a plasma torch with great precision. Also in the lab will be a variety of equipment for testing parts without physically impacting them.
Students using the lab will have the opportunity to study such cutting-edge fields as additive manufacturing, which is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. “Students can practice their design skills in this laboratory to learn about the various manufacturing processes that can create pieces and parts,” Golshani said. “Students learn how to set up an economical manufacturing process in an efficient way.”
The importance of the design and manufacturing lab goes beyond the students, however. Golshani sees it as vital to the regional manufacturing industry and economy.
“What we see happening at the national level is a wake-up call to the fact that too much of our manufacturing base has eroded over the years due to outsourcing and various developments in the industry,” he said. “Yet to this day, Los Angeles and Orange Counties together have more manufacturing capacity than Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois combined.
“Manufacturing is important to southern California and the nation,” he added. “There is a push by the federal government to bring back manufacturing so an effort like this goes to the heart of what we should be doing to bring manufacturing back to its former glory . We produce the engineers who can push this forward.”