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Indiana INTERNnet celebrated internship excellence on Feb. 5, 2014, at the 8th Annual IMPACT Awards luncheon. Though the event is over and the winners have been announced, we are continuing to celebrate the nominees’ successes.

This is a blog by Sriram Jegatha Aranganathan, a senior studying Mechanical Engineering at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, IN.

Sriram graphic

During the summer of 2013, I had the pleasure of being an engineering intern at Oji Intertech in North Manchester, IN. Oji is a growing company that serves the automotive and industrial packaging industries. Their core competencies are centered on compression molding, die cutting, assembly and extrusion coating. I worked under the supervision of Aaron Highley, who also graduated from Indiana Tech and has been working at Oji for more than 2 years.

To begin my experience, I could not find an apartment for 3 months in North Manchester, so the best way to find housing was to enroll into a Humanities class in Manchester University and stay in their summer housing. It was great because I met many people from the university who were doing science projects over the summer.

Secondly, I did not have a car to go to Oji every day, so I bought a road bicycle to ride to work. It was totally worth the effort, because the overall experience I had at North Manchester was fantastic. After finishing work at Oji every day, I always had something to do in the evening. Every Tuesday was a beach volleyball day, every Thursday was ultimate Frisbee day and every day was a tennis day.

On my first day of work at Oji, I had safety training and got introduced to all the employees. Aaron Highley and I discussed the list of projects for the summer. On the first day, his list of projects had a balance of long-term and short-term work. One of my long-term projects was to design and fabricate two extensions of a pusher that will go into production line. Oji was planning on launching a new product and some of my days as an intern were dedicated to this product launch. I had the pleasure of working alongside the engineers and even the president of the company on the plant floor.

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“I learned many things during this internship experience,
and it was an honor to be part of Oji’s team.”
Sriram Jegatha Aranganathan

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Some of the short-term projects that were accomplished during my internship include updating and creating Statistical Process Control charts (SPC) for all the processes and creating and updating Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for new and existing processes. My supervisor was helpful in guiding me through using Minitab software for updating the SPC charts. Although, Aaron’s background is in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME), he understood my mechanical engineering background too and taught me things that are IME related, like Design of Engineering (DOE) and using Minitab.

One major engineering skill I learned during this internship was to generate ideas that are more practical and accomplishable. Fabricating parts included working with the maintenance staff to accomplish welding, cutting and milling steel. I had the opportunity to work with many machines that are used to fabricate metal; it taught me to design parts that can be made easily.

This internship has made a great impact on my engineering career. It gave me a glimpse of an engineer’s life and made me realize the path I need to take in the future based on my interests. The relationships I made with the employees at Oji and also at North Manchester were great. Last month, I had lunch with my supervisor and the Quality Manager at Oji, and some of my friends at North Manchester are coming to watch my tennis match in Fort Wayne. I learned many things during this internship experience, and it was an honor to be part of Oji’s team.

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