Brad Watkins is a Business and Economics student from the University of Chester. He spent four weeks with DRB Group on a summer internship. Here’s a snapshot of his time spent out and about in the factory, learning about what we do.
9am The Design Team
I started the day by visiting the design team. The job of the design team is to oversee all the design elements that go into producing and engineering any products that DRB manufacture. Their contribution is crucial to the whole production process as it offers precision and clarity to everybody involved with product development within the business. Everything they do must be perfect in order to ensure the products are made to the right scale.
11am Alan – Small Machine Team
Alan is the small machine shop team leader. He showed me exactly what happens once they receive the blueprints from the design team. The machine shop is split into two sections; the milling side and the turning side. Alan was working on the production of multiple cereal rollers using machines on the milling side of the workshop. The machinery in the small machine shop makes use of CAD and CAM in order to turn the designs into reality.
1pm Sean – Quality Engineer
The quality engineers check parts for reverse engineering as well as quality control. In this case, Sean was using a FaroArm to inspect what type of condition train gearboxes sent in from Merseyrail were in. The FaroArm is used to measure the coordinates of a component, it then verifies whether it’s in a suitable state to be reverse engineered. The quality engineers must then produce a report including the findings from the FaroArm measurements, which is then sent off to the customer to await further instruction.
3pm Martin – Production Engineer
Martin is part of the team that deals with the day to day challenges related to production. In this case a company had contacted him about potentially changing their conveyor belt design in order to transform their production line and increase capacity. It was then Martin’s responsibility to go out and inspect exactly what issues the company were having. He then produced a report which showed what is needed in order to complete the job and how much it will cost. It is crucial that Martin and the team include everything in their reports, as the slightest detail missed could result in the job being carried out incorrectly.
What have I learnt from my time at DRB Group?
My time at DRB has opened my eyes to aspects of the production process that I have never considered before. Companies like DRB impact our lives without us even knowing it, from supplying the rollers that produce our cereal in the mornings, to renovating train gearboxes that help us get to work. It’s fascinating just how dependant the average person is on companies such as DRB to help them get by in day to day life.