It has been almost two months (8 weeks) since I started my internship in a metal stamping company. If I could put my 8 weeks of training in three words, it would be "challenging, mind-boggling and boring".
First off, the first few weeks was devastating boring. Week one my boss (the Managing Director, yes the real boss) gave me a task which is to study the degreasing machine and present it to the staff in the weekly Monday meeting in week two. I was surprised and all but nonetheless I stayed at the degreasing machine the following day and consulted the staff in charge of the machine. I begun to study the manual book which was prepared by previous intern and setup my presentation slides. All that for a week, which means I have more than enough time actually. Too much time to be honest. After that I basically chatted with the other interns and walked around the production line.
Come week two, I was anxious and excited to present my topic but only to find that my turn was not up, or that the boss forgotten. I was a little happy inside, yet disappointed. I sat at the office throughout the week doing the same stuff, chatting and talking. Then my boss gave me another task which is to learn how to draw Quality Control List (QC List) of two Perodua items. I studied that with the existing intern, of which he finished his "training" yesterday, but we both have not been successful in drawing the part till date. It was too complicated.
I can't recall any special activities I did other than the two mentioned above until like week four, when my supervisor asked us (me and the other intern) what we were doing.
What we were doing? Nothing.
Of course I said I was doing the task boss asked me to do but it obviously wasn't enough to cover up cause the time frame did not match up. She wasn't angry, but gave us advice that we should be more proactive and ask the boss if we do not understand about certain things in engineering. Afterall, the boss is an engineer. I was all excited and energized again after hearing my supervisor's advice.
My boss graduated from USA with Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering, cum laude. If my memory did not fail me, his alma mater was University of Washington. He has almost 30 years of metal stamping engineering experience on his belt and he is really good. Really good. He could identify the problem instantly by looking at the part. But I could say his judgement is sometimes blinded by his own ego. He just couldn't accept the opinion of his staffs, even when they are correct.
The other intern and I jotted our doubts in a piece of paper and brought them to meet the boss. We were excited! However, that did not went well because we did not had the chance to ask our questions. He threw another task to us. We needed to verify all the *checking jigs of our assigned customer.
Finally, some real engineering task.
*A checking jig is used to determine whether the part manufactured is in-spec or out-spec by putting the part in the jig. If the part is in-spec, it will fit perfectly with the jig.
Checking jig, source from http://www.stalco.com.my/
We then spent our weeks checking the jigs with height gauge, vernier caliper and micrometer to name a few. Some was pretty straight forward, measuring just distance while some jigs require the use of coordinate measuring machine (CMM) which can only be operated by assigned person-in-charge (PIC) to check the jig's parallelism and perpendicularity. However, the boss seems to have some kind of hatred towards the CMM. He did not allow the staff to use it unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes he would just ask us to use profile projector but my gut feeling says it wouldn't be as accurate though. We just suck it up anyway. Probably the maintenance of the machine was expensive. We don't know.
So far I am still checking the jigs, as there are like countless of them. He gave us till November to finish 30 jigs. I am still working on my 5th or 6th. Most of the time it's not because I am slow, it is because the boss's reluctance in using CMM that got the work seemed impossible, if not extremely slow.
It has been a long post and just to update a little about my intern experience so far. 16 more weeks to go!