Photographer: Plymouth High School


Thanks to Andretti Autosport partner BIG KAISER, an Indiana high school has a unique tie to the Andretti Autosport team. Through the partnership, Plymouth High School, located in Northern Indiana, now houses a tool measuring system that once helped produce parts of race cars that ran in competition across Andretti’s four racing platforms, IndyCar, Indy Lights, Global Rallycross and Formaul E. The machine, autographed by both Michael and Marco Andretti as well in Indy 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, is now helping Plymouth students learn the skills of machining and metalworking as they prepare for their chosen career paths. The Speroni MAGIS is a presetting and measuring tool combining all necessary measuring features and functions into a user-friendly, single screen device. By eliminating trial and error of tool set up, Andretti is able to provide one-step precision – saving the team time and costs during production of the advanced engineered parts for the race cars.
Provided to Andretti by BIG KAISER, the Speroni MAGIS machine lived within the DMG Mori fabrication zone at Andretti Headquarters. After providing quick and accurate measurements of the tools used to fabricate parts of the winning Indianapolis 500 Indy car and series champion Volkswagen Beetle GRC, the innovative machine was passed along to better develop the generation who could one day be working in the team’s Indianapolis based shop.
“BIG KAISER is a strong supporter of manufacturing education and workforce development, and we needed a home for this presetter,” explains Doug Sumner, Product Manager for TMS at BIG KAISER. “It was great that we could donate the machine in Indiana, support the kids at Plymouth High School, and get the team branding from our partners at Andretti Autosport.”  
Plymouth High School houses a manufacturing program which began for the 2013 – 2014 school year. With teaching students the basics of machining and work ethic in today’s work force being the main goal, instructor Scott Kaser currently teaches nine students and has instructed 65 students over the programs four-year run. The program is re-enforced through the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) which certifies the student’s achievements.
When asked how the machine has benefited the classroom thus far, Kaser explained, “The single largest benefit [the Speroni MAGIS] provides the students is exposure to real-world applications used in the industry. The largest disconnect between education and the real world is exposure and training in what is being used in the present time. Mike Rowe (of Discovery Channel’s ‘Dirty Jobs’) talks about the skills gap and how American industry and our education system have allowed it to happen, resulting in the struggle to fill open positions with skilled people who want to work. The Speroni tool setter is a machine that is used right now by our local manufacturing companies and it teaches the students how to use it and why.”
When the machine arrived at the school, the students were extremely interested to see how the Speroni machine worked. When they realized it had been used at Andretti Autosport just before, students were amazed and intrigued by the use of a machine that was once used to build cars at a championship race shop. “I have used [the Speroni MAGIS] to show current CNC students an alternate way of providing offset information for the controller,” said Kaser. I plan to use it in conjunction with fabrication mills to provide the students with various ways to perform machine setup. With the donation from BIG KAISER, it will allow me to teach the students all the ways to provide offset information as well as tool condition that was previously not available.”
Andretti Autosport and BIG KAISER take pride in the contribution to help educate America’s youth and provide the best learning materials to develop their interests and skills in our industry.