Manufacturing partnerships: A catalyst for strengthening the community and providing students career opportunities

Student Paul Gustafson, working on his capstone project using the Matsuura MX-520 5-Axis Vertical machining Center.

St. Paul, MN (March 10, 2019) —New Matsuura 5-Axis Vertical Machining Center brings excitement and opportunities for Machine Trades students at Anoka Technical College.

Anoka Technical College unveiled an industry-leading piece of machinery within the Machine Trades Department: a new MX-520 5-Axis Vertical Machining Center from Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. The 5-axis vertical machining center will provide students with more accurate, current technical skills on a new standard, meeting industry demands and adding value to graduates entering the workforce.

“Acquiring this mill is equivalent to a Ferrari for the Automotive program,” said Matt Rogers, Anoka Tech Machine Trades Instructor. “It allows us to synchronize our program and students with what is already on industry floors.”

The acquisition was made possible through a combination of state and county funding, and fundraising donations from industry partners and generous individuals in the community. Community partnerships and donations will allow students to provide a return on that investment in the form of a highly-skilled workers soon entering the field. Donors, community supporters and students were present during the unveiling.

“The timing of state funding and proactive fundraising allowed for this program-changing acquisition,” said Peter Gravett, Anoka Tech Foundation Development Director. “Giving is an emotional thing for donors. It is great to see this come to fruition for both students and donors alike.”

Current, standard technology is moving toward the 5-axis mill. Three axes are standard in industry and the Machine Trades program, but the department aims to maintain their position as a leader in innovative training. Having five axes of mobility in design provides a more flexible, accurate product where it matters in industries like aerospace and other technology-forward, high-pressure industries with a low to zero margin of error. More accurate production in the initial stage lessens overall cost from error and reproduction as well.

“The 5-axis machine is indicative of our efforts to make Anoka Tech best in class, going beyond what other institutions are doing to develop a local workforce with highly sought-after skills” said Kent Hanson, Anoka Technical College President. “We are grateful for the support and proud of our partnerships with state, county, industry and individual donors.”

With high-precision, performance, speed, accuracy and reliability, the Matsuura MX-520 provides a simple, effortless and cost-effective transition for 3-Axis users making the transition to full 5-Axis operation.

The MX-520 guarantees high rigidity, as well as, a generous machining envelope with excellent operability. The MX-520 also offers an assortment of configurations, which are ideal for all applications, all industries and all materials.

The Matsuura MX-520 is designed with a RAM type structure, which offers a compact and highly-rigid machining platform. The machine guarantees high rigidity, as well as, a generous machining envelope with excellent operability. The MX-520 also offers an assortment of configurations, which are ideal for all applications, all industries and all materials.

The headstock and trunnion on the MX-520 have been configured to minimize collision while maximizing tool access and reach. The MX-520 is offered with two table sizes: 11.81 in. and 19.68 in. (option).  Loading capacity is 440 lb.

Faculty have been trained on the equipment and are ready to begin providing training to credit-seeking and non-credit students by the end of the year. Professional Workforce Training (PWT) at Anoka Tech will also provide customized training opportunities to businesses and community members who do not wish to pursue a full degree at the college. Jon Olsen from PWT will coordinate the new five-axis mill training for the college.

Providing practical skills and employability is priority in Machine Trades programs at Anoka Tech, as is forward thinking. “Targeting what is innovative and new, product quality, student learning, and the graduates who leave our program are what we’re about,” said Rogers.

“Our faculty are still connected in industry outside of the classroom and keep students in the current trends.” “Thank you again to our donors and partners, this was truly a community project that will allow us to give back to industry and individuals through education,” Gravett concluded.

To learn more about Anoka Tech’s Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology programs visit

Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business. For more information on Matsuura products, contact: [email protected] or visit: