Growing Pennsylvania's specialty musical instrument industry: making better, cost-effective percussion drums with an innovative new milling tool

Principal investigator: Craig Brennecke

University: Pennsylvania State University-Altoona

Industry partner: HHG Drums

HHG is a small company in Hollidaysburg, PA that manufactures custom drums (i.e. musical instruments) that are sold worldwide to drum collectors and aficionados. HHG won “DRUM!” magazine's 2019 award for best new snare drum for its solid Pennsylvania ash wood snare drum, the 2018 Ben Franklin Big Idea award, and the 2021 Bedford Techcelerator contest. PSU-Altoona engineering faculty and students will help HHG grow by designing and producing a superior CNC mill that will be more flexible, programmable, faster, and less expensive than HHG's current milling process. The collaboration will apply local engineering expertise in academia to a local manufacturing need. Not only will HHG become more profitable and able to grow its business, but local students will have an exceptional and practical hands-on capstone project. This will benefit Blair County through economic growth and building the local talent to sustain the continued revitalization of manufacturing in rural PA.