By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Sil-Pro Medical Manufacturing Solutions was recently recognized with the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce 2012 community dedication award.
The company plays a major role in the FIRST Robotics Competition at Delano High School, which it helped initiate four years ago.
“We pay for the program in its entirety,” Sil-Pro president Kevin Carver said in 2011, adding that the company also mentors students during practice.
FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” Participants construct intricate robots that compete at various levels.
Last year, the robots were designed to place inflatable tubes and symbols on pegs, in order to make up the FIRST logo. In the last 10 seconds, a miniature robot climbed a 10-foot pole, and the first one to make it to the top earned the team an extra 30 points.
There are many aspects students can participate in based on their interests.
Some are involved in the design work, while others construct a mock arena to practice using the robot.
Team members also develop programming skills, document material purchases, and scout for compatible teams to pair with at the tournament.
Carver said he hopes that the robotics program will encourage students to pursue productive careers in science and technology. A secondary goal for Sil-Pro is to possibly recruit future employees.
According to the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce nomination, Sil-Pro employs about 140 people and has been located in Delano’s industrial park since 1998.
The company recently expanded, with the purchase of a 55,000-square-foot building adjacent to its existing facilities.
According to Sil-Pro’s website, the recently acquired building houses a newly designed 15,000-square-foot tooling department with design and tool build capabilities.
“This expansion provides us with the strategic capability of expanding our full-service medical device contract manufacturing and to develop a dedicated R&D department for proving-out new designs, processes, and expediting prototypes,” Carver noted on the website.
Sil-Pro is a certified contract manufacturer specializing in molded and extruded silicone, thermoplastics, and full-service medical device contract manufacturing assembly.