" Never say impossible.

               Create a new way."

Meet Eric

Eric's Internship Experience

Who would rather spend their precious summer vacation working here instead of traveling to Europe, have pizza parties, and trying out a triathlon? Well, these are a few of the fun activities people do at Pioneer Machinery.

The company culture centers around innovation, from the product to the way the business is run. Technical wise, there is no shortage of ideas as to what one is encouraged to try. Once Jerry (the general manager) come across an idea to make a factory 'smarter', let it be integrating a machine learning concepts and AR glasses into a traditional manufacturing plant or trying out indoor GPS to keep track of workers, there is no stopping him from transferring his excitement to us. As to whether or not we can fulfill his dream, that’s another story. Convincing customers to make their company smart can be challenging, factory managers are well aware of the benefits of modernizing their factories, but it is costly. Pioneer Machinery had to developed ways to transform a factory in a cost-effective way, not only does this allows traditional factories to step into the Industry 4.0 hype train but also let Pioneer Machinery develop better technology through more feedback and iterations. As a novice to this industry, I had the opportunity to witness these inner workings of the business through the involvement within the company.

When I was looking for an internship, I wasn’t expecting much. There just isn’t a lot of opportunities for the company to give a significant project to an undergraduate student employee. I was only hoping to find a place to learn. My previous intern was full of repetitive tasks, my best hope was to do some minor scripting. However, after 6 months of working here, I learned new programming languages and libraries, tried out new databases systems, developed on both web apps and Android apps, and designed wearable parts. None of the above is listed for the job requirement, but as part of the RD group, I was free to explore new technologies that will help improve factory productivity.

ABOUT ERIC

 

Position: IoT R&D Engineer Intern

Education: Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois

Office: Pioneer Headquarters, Taipei, Taiwan.

There is no tool/language restriction for these projects, the freedom to explore allows one to be really creative and develop projects that may seem preposterous to others. I feel it is one of the best privileges I feel I won’t have at other company. For example, I was able to use Python to create a few communication channels between machine PLCs and computer servers in a matter of days, this includes testing various protocols and requirements such as data retrieval rate. With Python, it also becomes easy to wrangle raw machine data and add them into databases, and even create a prototype data server with it. Javascript also plays an important role as it can turn numerical data into real-time visualization and display on the web. By using a few Javascript libraries, it allows clients to view their factory data using varies platforms from PCs, tablets, to even AR glasses. I was able to create an interactive 3D factory mapping and display it to a 4K touchscreen. It is really amazing to interact with the factory with simple tapping and dragging. The above is just a short list, and already, they opened my eyes to how much opportunities one can do to modernize a traditional factory. Even a college student can contribute! I am really grateful for how my knowledge in tech can make a difference here, and I’m certain that the skills I learn here will translate well across the industry.

Taiwan is not Silicon Valley, Pioneer Machinery is not a startup, but these projects have a significant impact in the field. At the very least, it ‘wow’ed the clients, and bring their factory to a more digitalized world. There is so much the company wants to do, but I know is only the beginning, and I look forward to seeing every amazing project from Pioneer Machinery!

 

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