HydraForce Donation to Fund
Four More Robots
For Wheeling High School Robotics Lab

May 3, 2018


LINCOLNSHIRE, IL – The Manufacturing and Robotics Lab at Wheeling High School is expanding, thanks in part to a donation from HydraForce Inc., a leading manufacturer of electrohydraulics based in Lincolnshire, Illinois. The $150,000 donation will be used to fund the addition of four additional programmable industrial robots to help teach automation. HydraForce President Jim Brizzolara, presented the check to the school at the Wheeling High School Manufacturing Open House on March 19, accompanied by Barb DeCesare, HydraForce Administrator of Manufacturing Intelligence and Barry Walthall, a Senior Manufacturing Engineer at HydraForce.

“When we saw the Wheeling High School Manufacturing Lab, we were extremely impressed, not only with the lab facilities but with manufacturing expertise and enthusiasm of the instructors,” said Jim Brizzolara. “We knew that helping their robotics lab was the right thing to do. Our company has been around for 33 years and our engineers design a new hydraulic product roughly every 1.7 hours. Manufacturing is at the core of what we do, and we appreciate the work that schools like Wheeling do to encourage our young people to learn about manufacturing technology,” he stated. “Our first HydraForce employee was actually a Wheeling graduate,” he added. Jenny Schmul, Class of 1977, is still employed at HydraForce today, working as a manager in the Information Technology Dept.

Wheeling, one of several schools in Township High School District 214, describes itself as “A Comprehensive School with a STEM Focus,” and its manufacturing lab demonstrates the school’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math. The lab includes not only robots, but a fully operating CNC machining center, 3D printing technology, and a computer lab. Featured manufacturing initiative include robotics, high mileage vehicle programs, and a partnership with NASA in which the student manufacture aluminum alloy and stainless steel hardware for NASA and the International Space Station. The HydraForce-donated robots may be integrated with the other equipment in the lab to teach how to automate manufacturing processes.

HydraForce, based in Lincolnshire, IL, designs and manufactures high performance hydraulic fluid power cartridge valves, custom manifolds and electro-hydraulic controls used in agricultural, construction, and material handling equipment. HydraForce is a privately held, employee-owned company.

For more information on HydraForce job opportunities, visit http://www.hydraforce.com/Careers/Career-opportunities.html.

HF present donation check
Presenting the Check — (left to right) Jim Brizzolara, HydraForce President; Barry Walthall, HydraForce Senior Manufacturing Engineer; Erin Brooks, Assistant Director, Community Engagement and Outreach for High School District 214 and Executive Director of the District 214 Education Foundation; Tom Munz, President of the District 214 Ecucational Foundation Board, and Barb DeCesare, HydraForce Administrator of Manufacturing Intelligence and member of the National Fluid Power Association STEM Education Committee.
Wheeling ABB Lab
The HydraForce donation will be used to fund four more industrial robots like this one for the Lab. Posing in front of the HydraForce sign are ABB staff George Gundlach and Nadja Koehler, who demonstrated the robot’s capabilities at the Wheeling Lab Open House.
Wheeling Robotics Lab
Wheeling Students
The HydraForce POWER FORWARD logo is featured prominently in the Wheeling Manufacturing and Robotics Lab, which generated smiles from (left to right) Barb DeCesare, HydraForce Administrator of Manufacturing Intelligence, Jerry Cook, Principal of Wheeling High School, Barry Walthall, HydraForce Senior Manufacturing Engineer, and Jim Brizzolara, HydraForce President.