30 Oct 2017
Life at ÉTS
Designing Wind Turbines for John Crane France: My Internship
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Benjamin Simard holds a college degree (DEC) in Natural Sciences from the Cégep de Chicoutimi and is now pursuing undergraduate studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at ÉTS. The following article describes his experience during his third internship, at John Crane France, in Normandy. He would like to launch a company to help improve middle class living standards.
I arrived in Rouen on January 14, 2017, to begin a 6-month internship. The first five weeks were spent at CESI before continuing on with John Crane France. I was greeted by Sabine Frefield, International Assignments Advisor at CESI who, after showing me key sites in Rouen, took me back to my apartment, which she helped equip with basic necessities. She also put me in contact with other CESI students so as to help facilitate my integration.
I was involved with the “Factory of the Future” project, which was created to assess factory efficiency, suggest improvements and introduce the lean manufacturing approach. Our five-member team had to read the material provided and hand in the requested assignments after consulting together. A mentor helped us get started and then met with us periodically to answer our questions. This method, although different from what I am used to, has the advantage of developing autonomy and resourcefulness. It also teaches the importance of working in a group and promotes information sharing, which is beneficial to all. The five weeks at CESI helped me to adapt to the French culture and expressions, and to make new friends.
The John Crane France Internship
I truly enjoyed my experience at John Crane France. My project was to design a range of couplings for offshore wind turbines that could engage and disengage automatically. My first task was to draft specifications clearly defining the issues and objectives of the project, to analyze existing solutions on the market, to find potential solutions, and to identify deliverables and expectations. I also attended a trade show for businesses involved in renewable marine energy, SEANERGY 2017.
The solution selected was the use of multiple friction pads. Several design factors had to be addressed together: friction material, pad sizes, spring types that could exert required pressures, etc. The challenge was in the wide range of torques transmitted to the new offshore wind turbines. I was able to put into practice the concepts acquired during the MEC528 course (Machine Elements).
I followed with a written report describing all the steps and calculations that led to the final solution. This report, together with the CAD coupling modelling, was then forwarded to another team to manufacture a prototype.
As a future engineer, this internship allowed me to experience the most important steps in designing a range of high-quality, state-of-the-art mechanical parts. I am now more confident in my abilities and my resourcefulness.
I will close by mentioning that my internship also allowed me to spend some holiday time in Les Menuires in the Alps, among other sites. I will always treasure these memories.
Benjamin Simard is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at ÉTS. He plans to focus on the areas of project management and continuous improvement. He would like to launch a company to help improve middle class living standards.
Program : Mechanical Engineering