Intern Experience

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By Supreme Integrated Technology August 12, 2020

The Campus Ambassador Program allows interns to be hired on for the summer and gain hands-on experience at our family of employee owned companies. Learn what it’s like to intern at Supreme Integrated Technology through Nathan Madsen’s perspective:

“My name is Nathan Madsen, and I am a mechanical engineer intern at Supreme Integrated Technology in Harahan. I have worked on several different projects throughout my internship. Through SolidWorks, I created 3D drawings of control stands for projects that allowed the customers and vendors to see the layout and dimensions. For these projects, the control stand has a joystick, screen and other buttons that enable the user to control a hydraulic arm that is mounted to the ship. These projects taught me how to build relationships and make connections between the electrical engineers and mechanical engineers to ensure that the design meets all needs.

On the first day of my internship, I joined a meeting discussing a job proposal where we brainstormed ideas for the Container Handling System. The project proposal is for allowing valve ISO containers, weighing up to 67,000 pounds each, to be lowered from the top deck into the hull of the ship using a crane. Upon lowering the containers, a mechanism would move the ISO containers port (left) and starboard (right) to their transportation positions. For this proposal, I modelled the system in Solidworks software to present to the customer. I also performed calculations on the speed at which the container would travel and the horsepower that is required to ensure the appropriate size ball jack screw and motor. Using my calculations, we determined using a motor that operates at 1200 rpm paired with the 24:1 gear ratio instead of one at 1750 rpm to achieve the slower speed desired by the customer. With these specifications, we can move the container 19 feet in approximately 10 minutes. In order to move the containers, I determined that each jack will require roughly 0.5 hp. I liked this project because I was able to see the progression from proposal to modeling. I also had to communicate with the application engineer for the vendor who manufactures the ball screw jack while working on this project. The most challenging part of this project was designing it with the limitations on the size due to the compact space given in the hull for the containers and our system.

Lastly, I also assisted with a project where a system collects debris such as tree limbs in a hopper and uses a push plate to break it down into smaller pieces prior to returning into the water. The debris can then pass through the water turbine system without allowing significant damage. For this project, I helped check the bill of materials to ensure it matches the schematic. I also applied equations of equilibrium to the hopper door to relate it back to how much pressure is required in the hydraulic cylinder. According to my calculations, the pressure required varied based on the location of the force on the door, with the maximum required pressure approximately 1600 psi.

Although each of these projects had their challenges, I have enjoyed working on all of them for different reasons. The first mentioned projects gave me the opportunity to work with different engineering disciplines within the company to design a control stand. The Container Handling System project allowed me to see the beginning stages of a job proposal where we brainstormed ideas, created preliminary drawings, and performed calculations to ensure we quoted the right parts. The last job opened the opportunity to work on the middle stages of a project. Customers choose SIT due to its established reputation and it was an honor to be a part of the team for the summer.”

We appreciate all the hard work and fresh ideas Nathan brought to our team of engineers. We wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors! 

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