New five-axis mill brings excitement and opportunities for Machine Trades students

Anoka Technical College staff and faculty were clamoring with anticipation for the arrival of an industry-leading piece of machinery within the Machine Trades department this spring. A new five-axis mill from Matsuura Industries was delivered last month to fanfare from the Manufacturing Technology Department and college community at large. The mill 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 up with what is already on industry floors.”

The acquisition was made possible through a combination of state funding, county funding and fundraising donations from industry partners and generous individuals in the community. With a target goal of $325,000 to make this opportunity possible, the college was able to meet and exceed expectations. Community partnerships and donations will allow students to provide a return on that investment in the form of a highly skilled group of workers soon entering the field.

“Timing of state funding and proactive fundraising allowed for this program-changing acquisition.” said Peter Gravett, Development Director for the Anoka Technical College Foundation. “Giving is an emotional thing for donors.”

Current, standard technology is moving toward the five-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.

Providing practical skills and employability is priority in Machine Trades programs at Anoka Tech, as is forward thinking. “Target what is innovative and new. Quality of product made, student learning, and the graduates who leave our program is what we’re about,” said Rogers. “Our faculty are still connected in industry outside of classroom hours and keep students in the current trends.”

For more information about the Anoka Technical Machine Trades program, visit:

Anoka Technical College hosts Nitro X summer camp, June 11 – 15 where children entering Grades 7 and 8 will have fun making new friends while working in teams, and discover new technical skills along the way.


Machine Trades at Anoka Technical College acquired a new, five-axis mill on May 23 through state and county funding, and donations from industry partners and generous community members. This acquisition will make Anoka Technical College the only technical college in the U.S. to own the machine.

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