What's a couple of millimeters among friends? Well, if you are an engineer or a machinist working on a project, it could be the difference between success and failure.
Because that level of specificity is not always clear in design plans, engineers and others from the Knolls Atomic Power Lab (KAPL) took a crash course in machining — specifically, milling — at Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School's (CTE) welding lab in the Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology (CAT).
"My background is engineering, doing the design work. There are times when we might just say 'make it 10,000 millimeters' and the millers will come back and say, 'that doesn't' work.' They'll be yelling. Now, I can go back and be the one yelling because I will have a better understanding," said Cameron Thompson, a project manager for Knolls.
CTE adult education machining teacher Mike McGillycuddy said the nine KAPL workers learned basic milling technologies in the state-of-the-art machining lab CTE designed in the CAT.
"The idea is to give them a better understanding of what the miller does when they hand him or her a set of plans," McGillycuddy said.
KAPL sends its engineers to Capital Region BOCES periodically throughout the year to learn how materials are manually manipulated and how items are made.
"It helps the engineers to understand theories and principles of the processes," said Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School Executive Principal Denise Capece.
McGillycuddy said KAPL officials hope to return to CTE during spring break for welding lessons for their employers.
KAPL is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation. KAPL employees develop advanced nuclear propulsion technology, provide technical support for the safe and reliable operation of existing naval reactors and provide training to naval personnel who operate them. Its facilities in Niskayuna and Milton employ 2,600 people.
In the top photo, KAPL Supervisor of Welding Brian Ranze mills metal while a co-worker cools it during a lesson Wednesday at Capital Region BOCES CTE.
To the right, Cameron Thompson, a project manager and engineer for KAPL tries his hand at milling.
Below, KAPL's Chris Shepherd mills as teacher Mike McGillycuddy and fellow engineer James Seo look on.