3D Printing and Jobs Humming at Humtown

LEETONIA, Ohio – Floor space is at a premium at Humtown Additive in Leetonia.

The plant, at 600 Cherry Fork Ave., is a sister plant to Humtown Products in Columbiana. The 120,000-square-foot facility turns out 3D printed sand cores and molds for original equipment manufacturers and other customers.

“We’re serving every industry category that uses casting,” says Mark Lamoncha, president and CEO.

The Business Journal visited Humtown Additive March 9 as part of the Brain Gain Navigators virtual career exploration series. A webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 21. It is open to schools, students and adult job-seekers who are interested in learning more about additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

Webinar attendees will take a video tour of Humtown Additive and be able to ask Humtown’s Lamoncha and Kate Pieplow, HR coordinator, questions about available jobs.

To register for the webinar, fill out the form at Sites.Google.com/view/braingainnavigatorprogram/home, or go to BusinessJournalDaily.com/archive-brain-gain-navigators and click the Register Today button.

From now through 2029, jobs in additive manufacturing are expected to increase by 10% nationally, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers like Humtown are continuing to expand, creating more opportunities for area residents to get into the field without having to leave home.

Humtown has 10 industrial 3D printers running 24/7 on its floor, and has room for two more, Lamoncha says. Cores are printed using a combination of specific chemicals and sand that’s shipped in from Roff, Okla., as well as other granular media, such as ceramics and metal.

“We’re pretty much going through more than a railroad car of sand a week,” Lamoncha says.

James Burgess, 3D cleaner, is part of the second shift at Humtown Additive. Printers run around the clock, “so that requires a crew of people willing to work around the clock,” he says. Humtown currently runs four 6-hour shifts, he says.

Burgess tends to the printers and does his rounds, ensuring the printers are running as expected and have enough chemicals and print media to continue a job. When the finished products are ready, workers extract them, transport them to the back room where they are cleaned and prepared for shipping. Workers then clean the printers of any leftover sand from the previous job and prepare it for the next project.

When he saw online job openings for 3D printing in his hometown of Leetonia, Burgess decided to check out the opportunity. Humtown trained him to operate the 3D printers and he hopes to learn enough about them to repair them as well.

“As far as possibilities go, they’re virtually endless,” he says.

Pictured: Humtown Additive is the focus of a Brain Gain Navigators webinar March 21.

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