" Energy and persistence conquer all things."
Autumn's Internship Experience
After I finished my exchange program in Germany and got my graduate certification, I had a strange feeling which mixed with relief, anxiety, and uncertainty. Because of the uncertainty of the global pandemic, I had the chance to stop my previous plan and rethink the trends and situations in the world.
I asked myself three questions at the time:
First, would I study for a Master's degree in the future?
Secondly, what do you want to do in the next ten years?
Thirdly, what experience is most important to me at the moment,
taking all these answers into account?
After considering the answers to these three questions, I chose this company, Pioneer Machinery, which has had a good reputation for almost 50 years. Although the traditional machinery industry in Taiwan is not generally a popular industry for employment, I felt at the interview that the company was innovative in its use of new technology. Furthermore, the machinery industry is an important cornerstone of the country's development. Emotionally, as a graduate with a mechanical background, I couldn't help but be attracted to the large machines.
I was responsible for the development of the CCV production line, mainly the calculation of the catenary curve, hardware assembly planning, and the selection of sensors. Although I felt a sense of achievement in partially completing such a large project and was happy to be able to make such an important product for the company during my internship, I was under a lot of pressure when I first took on the case and was worried whether I would be able to handle this milestone job for the company.
At the very beginning, Jerry came up to me with a smile on his face and asked in a relaxed tone if I could help verify the catenary curve on the company's design drawings. I thought that this would be a fundamental part of Statics and I readily agreed to the job. But after I had put some thought into it, I discovered that the buoyancy of the water in the pipeline would have an effect on the whole design, and that was when I started building up a spreadsheet with Excel and taking up the factory for two months to do the experiments.
Position: Automation Control Engineer Intern
Education: Mechanical Engineering,
National Taiwan University
Office: Pioneer Headquarters, Taipei, Taiwan.
In the process of experimenting and testing the theory, it was fortunate that the company's factory was located just downstairs from the office. The colleagues in the factory were kind enough to help me prepare the space and set up for the experiments. Although the first three months at the company were full of fear and anxiety, the experimental data often did not look right, and I was worried every day that I would not be able to produce any results. However, from my past experience in research, the best thing to do is to believe in yourself and focus on your current results. I am grateful to Jerry for giving me three months to test my ideas and prove my suspicions with experiments.
After completing this phase of the task, I started to take charge of some part of the product development because I wanted the product to be made smoothly and it so happened that everyone in the company had their own task at that time. Later on, we also worked on the heating system experiment, pipe arrangement design and valve system design. I also held meetings with our partners to review drawings and communicated between the two parties. Even though I already have 2 internships, it was the first time I was able to take charge of a certain key part of the product development.
In addition to the development of the CCV production line that I am mainly responsible for, I also learned to write control programs using the PLC's Ladder diagram at work. With the help of Ken and other colleagues in the automation department, I was able to understand how the PLC works and read the company's past codes. Unfortunately, due to the severe Covid19 pandemic in Taiwan, I was unable to finish the fish tank control program that I had designed to build. However, knowing PLC as a programming language will help me to have more choices in the future, both in my studies and in my career.
These ten months at Pioneer Machinery not only gave me experience in the traditional mechanical industry but also helped me to map out what I want to do professionally in the future. In the next few years, I will be pursuing a master's degree in Robotics, Cognition, Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich and hope to pursue my career in the field of human-machine collaboration in the future. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work in a company with a rich history but full of youthful energy, and in addition to gaining a sense of achievement in my work, I have had the opportunity to better confirm my future direction during my internship.