Winners of the Collision Repair Education Foundation's Ultimate Collision Makeover Grant Receive Technological "Shot in the Arm"

Winners of the Collision Repair Education Foundation's Ultimate Collision Makeover Grant Receive Technological "Shot in the Arm"

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As part of the activities at this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas, the Collision Repair Education Foundation selected Applied Technology Center of Rock Hill, South Carolina as the recipient of the association's Ultimate Collision Education Makeover $50,000 school grant. The school received a brand new Spectrum® 375 X-TREME™ plasma cutter with XT30 Torch from Miller as part of the tool package associated with the grant.

Winners of the Collision Repair Education Foundation's Ultimate Collision Makeover Grant Receive Technological "Shot in the Arm"


The program is designed to bolster a school’s shop with tools, equipment and resources that will help students advance their careers in the collision repair industry. Part of the application process involves extensively detailing a $50,000 wish list of tools and products that the school would use. The Collision Repair Education Foundation then solicits donations from companies like Miller to help fulfill that wish list. The winning school often gets more than the $50,000 target, with the 2009 winner getting approximately $80,000 in equipment, and the 2010 winner getting approximately $125,000 in equipment. In all, the organization will give away more than $2.5 million in cash, scholarships, tools and equipment in 2011.      

“We recognize and support a high potential, high performing school that is doing a great job of training their students, has great administrative and industry support, and has an excellent advisory council,” says Scott Kruger, executive director, the Collision Repair Education Foundation. “But like all schools and all career and technical education in this country, it’s underfunded and they need a little bit of help. This is a big way to help them, and to give them new equipment and new tools, new pieces to teach the young technicians who are coming up and want to be a part of this industry.”      

The Applied Technology Center, as winner of the 2011 grant, will begin a yearlong journey that will include a nearly complete overhaul of its Collision Repair and Refinishing shop and equipment. The 3-year program at Applied Technology Center includes introductory studies on auto collision, auto technology and small engines, and extensive study and practical application of repair skills and techniques.      

“We had a plasma cutter, it really wasn’t up to snuff and our welding department needed it too, so I gave it to them,” says Dellinger. “They won’t get this. We’ve been cutting everything with (cut-off) wheels, now they’re going to step up and see some nice state-of-the-art equipment, just like they should!”      

If your department or school has a dedicated curriculum related to collision repair and you’d like to learn more about the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant, visit The organization will open up the next grant cycle in early 2012. As Mark Dellinger will tell you, it could earn your students a state-of-the-art makeover that will give them an advantage as they head out into the real world and work in the industry.      

“It is a great shot in the arm,” he says. 

Collision Repair Education Foundation contact:

Associate Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode


An Overview of the Spectrum 375 X-TREME with XT 30 Torch 

Miller has re-engineered its Spectrum X-TREME plasma cutters and packed them with new technology that delivers even more power in a highly portable package. Combined with an all-new XT Torch designed to fit more comfortably in your hands, users will experience the ultimate combination of power, precision and portability.       

The Miller XT Torch features an ergonomic design that includes a unique thumb guide, finger grip contours and a no-slip grip for easy control and torch dexterity. The 80-degree handle provides natural arm and elbow positioning while cutting, and an exclusive flexible cable with improved bend radius and flexibility increases comfort.      

The Miller XT Torches are also designed to reduce total cost of ownership by making consumables last longer. The new electrode provides concentricity, smooth movement, better cutting performance and increased life. A robust tip lasts longer and optimizes arc performance. The industry’s only true 30-amp drag shield also increases tip life and simplifies template cutting. By converting to the deflector and holding a 1/16-inch stand-off, users will have good arc visibility while cutting with no additional consumables to change. The retaining cup’s quick turn feature offers ease and convenience when changing consumables.       

Now generating 30 amps, this 19-pound plasma cutter provides a more powerful arc for additional cutting speed and thickness. The unit can cut through 3/8-inch mild steel at 18 inches per minute and provides even faster, cleaner cuts on 1/4-inch material. 

Other features include:

  • NEW Auto-Refire™ technology — provides customer convenience by automatically controlling the pilot arc when cutting expanded metal.
  • NEW Automatic air regulation — automatically compensates for input pressure variation to provide constant recommended torch pressure for optimum cutting performance.
  • NEW Easy-to-understand front panel — provides color-coded plug configuration and input voltage ranges.
  • MVP™ (Multi-Voltage Plug) —allows connection to 120V or 240V single-phase power without any tools.
  • Auto-Line™ technology — automatically adjusts the unit to either voltage for high performance based on the incoming power.
  • LVC™ line voltage compensation — provides peak performance power under variable conditions for steady cuts and cleaner ending cuts.
  • Miller engine drive compatible — full cutting power on any Miller engine drive with 6.5 kW or more 240V generator power.
  • Fan-On-Demand™ and Wind Tunnel Technology™

The machine comes complete with a shoulder strap and Miller X-CASE™, which provides tough protection during transport and storage, and features room for extra consumables and welding protection accessories. For more information, visit 

Updated: February 5, 2020
Published: December 14, 2011