Pewaukee, WI,
15:39 PM

WCTC receives $188,000 donation to purchase automated manufacturing cell

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Friday, Feb. 3, 2017) – Waukesha County Technical College announced Friday the donation of $188,000 to the WCTC Foundation to purchase an automated manufacturing cell for the college’s Automation Systems Technology (AST)/Robotics program.

The donation was made by the Lutz Family Foundation. Walter (Terry) Lutz is the past president and owner of Hartford-based Signicast Investment Castings. He is also the author of, “In Pursuit of Manufacturing Excellence – The Signicast Story.” The book details how the company was transformed into the largest commercial investment casting company in the United States.

Lutz, who holds a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering, hired many WCTC graduates

throughout his career with Signicast. He made the donation to provide current students with world-class technology and support the country’s manufacturing sector.

“I believe that for the United States to be great it’s got to be a producer. It’s got to make stuff, and manufacturing is a big part of that,” Lutz said. “I hope the donation makes a difference in the fact that students are learning using the latest technology. It’s a great incentive for them to gain the skills they need and then go on to apply those skills at their job.”

The new FANUC automated manufacturing cell will be located in the college’s Integrated Manufacturing Center, which opened last April. Mike Shiels, dean of the college’s School of Applied Technologies, said the equipment is widely used in industries throughout the region.

“This cell will provide our students with real-world applications of how equipment is configured to work together in an automated environment,” Shiels said. “It’s equipped with a FANUC robot, three-axis machining center, conveyer system and Rockwell programmable logic controllers.”

"WCTC is fortunate to have formed relationships with individuals like Terry Lutz who recognize the power of manufacturing and the role that our state’s technical colleges play as a significant talent pipeline for employers and driver of our economy,” said Shiels.

Nearly 200 students are currently enrolled in WCTC’s AST/Robotics associate degree program.

About WCTC

About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 150 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs. Customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit