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Penn State engineer students help manufacturing company

Updated: Wednesday, March 19 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

By: WJAC Web Staff

CLEARFIELD, Pa. -- Several senior engineering students from Penn State University took a trip to a school supply manufacturing company in Clearfield on Tuesday.

The PSU students went to Kurtz Brothers School supply manufacturing company to help the company save money.

"We're taking a group of students from the university," said engineering instructor Roger Price. "In the energy engineering field out to do some energy assessments."

Students investigated issues that started at a high tech air compressor necessary for making paper and notepads.

"We use it to separate the paper and get it to jog up so it's altogether and everything," said Kurtz Bros plant manager David Strickland. "We also use it to move paper and we use energy to lift the paper."

The compressor pumped air though pipes to various machines. Occasionally, the pipes leak air which lead to more work for the compressor and more energy is used. That is where the students came in handy.

"This project is to actually find and detect air leaks for an industrial facility," said senior engineering student Denzel John.

Using high tech acoustic air measuring devices, students are able to pinpoint the exact location of an air leak then pass that information onto the company.

"We're going to use that information, find the leads [and] fix the leaks," said Strickland. "Then reduce the cost of our energy."

The students found three leaks and fixing those could save Kurtz Brothers thousands per year in energy costs.

"I'm interested in becoming an energy analyst so this kind of work is actually preparing me for the field that I'm interested in," John said. "It's good training and practice."

Penn State engineer students help manufacturing company

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times