On the verge of his graduation we look back with Zander on his past few months as an intern at Equinox. He studies Mechatronics at the Hague University of Applied Sciences in Delft and in light of this study he has been working hard to introduce a SCADA solution for our LR-sorter.
“When looking for a fitting study I wanted to combine my interest for robotics with programming. I found the perfect match in mechatronics. During my study I gained quite some practical experience. Each year we work on a few hands-on projects that are either created by our school or that are initiated by companies to help them find innovative solutions. These projects vary enormously. We have designed a drawbridge, lifting aid and a pick and place robot to name a few examples. These projects put students in work situations and helps them experience what it’s like after college. Thanks to these projects and my earlier internship I found that my passion lies within industrial automation solutions.”
The perfect match
Zander wanted to make the most of his final internship and was looking for something specific. “As my previous internship took place at quite a large corporate company, I was looking for something smaller. This helps me understand which type of company I prefer. Often smaller companies offer more independence and responsibility. Also it was crucial for my internship to include mechanical, electrical and programming competences. After my introduction to Equinox I knew this was a good match.”
Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA)
“My assignment comprised the research and implementation of a SCADA system for the LR-sorter. SCADA is used to monitor and control machines in real time. It is often used for alarm handling. Whenever there is an issue, it will be shown on a display screen. This shows a model of the sorter and highlights the warning on a specific section. The program allows the user to zoom in on a specific section or component for more information. This allows operators, technicians or support engineers to quickly locate and repair the issue, saving valuable time.
The research was a large part of my internship. I started out with setting the requirements and scope. Based on these requirements I started creating a longlist of fourteen suppliers. After thoroughly reviewing their products, services and benefits and quite some calls about specifications this list was cut back to a shortlist of seven companies. A few of these were invited for in-depth discussions and have all created a proposal for our case. This lead to one last detailed comparison of the top three. Of the top three we eventually selected the company that not only met our current requirements, but also offers a centralised system to monitor all SCADA’s which was important for future growth.”
"This allows operators, technicians or support engineers to quickly locate and repair the issue, saving valuable time."
Open and approachable colleagues
When looking back at his time at Equinox, Zander mentions one important asset: the colleagues. “Due to the different competences in my studies, my function is often neither fish nor fowl. Therefore I often float between multiple departments. In larger companies, the departments often operate on their own ‘island’ which could make it hard to get things done. Luckily everyone at Equinox was very kind and approachable. If I need anything all I have to do is ask.”
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