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Produmax offers around 12 placements per year to students interested in pursuing a career in Engineering. Each student follows a pre-planned in-depth itinerary that gives a real insight to what its like to work here.   This is what Ellie Vickerstaff from South Craven School in Crosshills had to say about her experience......

From 10-14 of June I attended work experience at Produmax in Baildon from 8.30 to 16.00 each day.  During the week I got to experience many different aspects of the company.

On the first day I had a tour of the factory and was given PPE.  In the afternoon I researched Produmax and their customers.  I really enjoyed the factory tour and I liked being able to see the factory when it was fully operational and all the different types of turning and milling machines the company has.  Being able to shadow a cell leader gave me an opportunity to see the different types of parts machined and the difficulties that may be faced.  It was interesting to see the automation side of manufacture as at school I only work with manual turning and milling machines.  As well as researching Produmax I got to spend some with the pit crew in the afternoon which helped me understand 3/4/5 axis machines and what each axis was called for example x,y,z and b.  I also learnt how important it was to have a separate team just for setting up and caring for machines and how that effected running times and the efficiency of workers and machines.

Day 2: Tuesday was mainly spent in the offices with Katy where I learnt how to make a job card.  These were definitely very complex, and it was amazing how much information could be given to one person just by having a couple of numbers.  I also spent time with Paul looking at the purchasing of different material required for ach job and client then we went onto the shop floor to have a look at the raw material bought for each job.  In the afternoon I was back on the shop floor in the design office.  There I got to look at computer simulated run throughs of parts being machined to see were the flaws were and how to fix them to make the process the most efficient.  I looked at the software used for designing and making drawings for new parts.  This was probably the best part of the week because it made me consider aspects of engineering that I hadn’t thought of before and would potentially pursue as a career path.

Day 3: In the morning I was in inspection with George.  During my time there I helped measure some parts to see if they were ok to be sent to the customer.  I also got to go to assembly and help them with a problem they were having.  In the afternoon I was able to discuss the machines used on the shop floor with Dave and I looked at tool parts and the CAD software that they were using.  I found the treatment and CAD very interesting and learnt a lot.  This afternoon gave me an opportunity to ask questions about the apprenticeship scheme.

Day 4: In the morning I went to final inspection, whish is where every product is inspection before it is dispatched to the customer.  I was able to see the electronic versions of measuring techniques in operation.  For example, Vernier height gauge and callipers.  I inspected some products underneath the microscope to check for any major damage.  I looked at the projector which enables the operator to look at radius and other critical measurements.  I was given an opportunity to put the information from an engineer’s drawing onto the database.  In the afternoon I went to deliveries and assisted with packaging the final products and making delivery cards ready to be dispatched to the clients.

Day 5: Today my final day will be working with assembly.

It has been a privilege to be given the opportunity to gain work experience at Produmax.  I have enjoyed seeing every area of the company in operation which has been enlightening and given me inspiration for my future career.  The placement has been very well structured for which I am very grateful and during my time at Produmax I have gained information about the apprenticeship scheme which I am seriously considering.