Pathways to Success

Garden Spot High School

Yoshi Allen – Engineering Internship

Following my engineering internship at Case New Holland Industrial, I transitioned to an engineering internship at Superior Plastic Products. However, my experiences were very different. With CNHi, I spent most of my time in different areas of testing and hands-on work. At Superior Plastic Products, I work in the research and development facility at 150 Orlan Road in New Holland with my own desk where I do drafting work. I have gained insight into the opposite side of engineering from the experience I had at CNHi as well as the sharp contrast between the two companies by size.

The first major difference in the two internships has been the specific work I have been assigned to. At Case, I assisted and shadowed field testing, lab testing, and prototype builds. Most of this work was done outside or in the shop and was very hands-on. However, I had virtually no experience with CAD and any engineering drafting. This internship at Superior Plastic Products was the perfect opportunity for me to acquire skills in that area and have well-rounded engineering experience. Unlike Case, where I was working hands-on and constantly moving around, at Superior Plastic Products, I have my own desk with my own computer and a few monitors. Aside from traveling to a different plant to gather measurements occasionally, all of my time is spent at my desk using CAD software. I have been able to see that, although all the positions I’ve experienced have been for mechanical engineers, they have been varied greatly.

The second major difference I have experienced is the operation of a major international company, like Case New Holland Industrial, and that of a local company like Superior Plastic Products. CNHi, is a massive company where there are hundreds of engineers, and many specialize in one specific area of a project and give their input where they qualify. Some choose to perform testing, while others specialize in hydraulics, data analysis, margin improvement, or many other areas. However, Superior Plastic Products has only a handful of engineers in their company that all work very closely with one another and, with a small company, every face I saw was familiar. The work was also constantly changing and schedules seemed a lot more flexible, partly because the smaller company was a lot less bureaucratic in their operations. Another factor that may have caused it to be much different in workload is that CNHi’s engineers are driven by the consumer because they design products to be sold to the public while the engineers at Superior Plastic Products design the machinery to be used in house to manufacture their fencing and railing. Due to this, they don’t have the same type of release deadlines and milestones in projects to release to the public for a certain model year like CNHi does. Instead, their focus is on improving in house operation for efficiency and solving problems when a machine breaks in manufacturing.

My experience as an engineering intern at Superior Plastic Products has been a great opportunity to have well-rounded insight into the mechanical engineering field. I have been able to see the wide range of job opportunities in the field and what skills they require as well as what I prefer. I have also been able to see how the two different companies operate due to the difference in size as well as the different functions of one group of engineers that is driven by consumers, while the other is driven to improve in-house manufacturing efficiency. As I go forward, this experience will be a valuable tool for me to possess in college and beyond. There’s no substitute in the classroom for experience, and I recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to gain experience before going to college take advantage of it. These experiences have helped me gain a full understanding of the field and gain skills before going to college. I am excited to pursue mechanical engineering at Lafayette College beginning this fall!


jhackman • April 22, 2020

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