Design Engineering
Showcase

ABB Robotics

Student
Kai Arcos
Team
Consumer Segments & Service Robotics, Sales & Applications
Supervisor
Dr Petar Kormushev
Role
Applications Engineer
Sector
Technology, Media and Telecommunications

During my five-month industrial placement as an Applications Engineer at ABB Robotics, I was assigned many interesting projects which allowed me to develop both at a professional and personal level. I had the chance to work both on internal projects and live opportunities with external customers. By the end of the placement, I felt a lot more confident in my work, and my own opinions and ideas. Although the internship took place remotely due to COVID-19, I believe this did not impact my performance and I was still able to gain very valuable experience.

 — ABB Robotics

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

Throughout the placement, I was assigned seven different projects that allowed me to acquire and improve a broad set of skills. Many of them required knowledge in the RobotStudio software and the RAPID programming language, both of which I had never used before. Two of these projects were live opportunities, where I was tasked with designing cell layouts and creating simulations of the cell to show our customers something that they could picture in their own warehouse. These projects were especially insightful as I learnt a lot about the process of delivering a solution.

I was also tasked with the redesign of the modular cell portfolio presentation to be more engaging and directly address the concerns of the customers, which allowed me to improve my design thinking and graphic design skills. As part of the project, I also researched and experimented with new PowerPoint features to make more engaging slides, broadening my knowledge of the software.

One of my favourite projects consisted of creating the structure and content plan for a self-driven logistics course integrated in Microsoft Teams, to be used by future interns and new employees. This course will build on the knowledge of each generation of interns, as they will be allowed to add their own findings to it. The course will be further refined, and will hopefully become the backbone of the internship programme in the future, reducing the amount of work put on placement supervisors.

Role and Contributions

For five months, I was an Applications Engineer at ABB. I worked at the Consumer Segments & Service Robotics division, in the Sales & Applications team. However, I was also given the chance to work for the Projects team for one month at the start of the placement. This allowed me to experience two different perspectives, as well as learning how the work from each team affects the other.

The best part of working for ABB was that my work had a real impact on the business. My self-driven logistics course for future interns will reduce the amount of work put on supervisors, as well as the time that it takes to prepare an intern, allowing interns to make an impact from earlier on. I worked on two layout designs and simulations for live opportunities, both of which were shown to customers that provided feedback to us and were happy with the work we had produced for them. My redesign of the modular cell presentation will allow for a more engaging and conversation-based approach, as well as directly addressing the customer’s worries, which will hopefully make our solutions more attractive to potential customers. The new presentation received great feedback from my managers. I also worked on the research for the selection of components for a new gripper concept, saving time and effort for the engineers, and was given the chance to participate in the concept review meeting to share my findings.

The impact that my work has had on the company and the positive outcomes of it have been highly motivating for me, and they have helped me grow more confident in my skills.

Summary

Although COVID-19 made it slightly harder to maintain the relationships that would normally flourish in the office, working remotely for ABB was a great experience. I felt myself grow professionally as well as on a personal level, and I believe this was enhanced by the fact that I was assigned real work and projects for the whole duration of the placement. It is definitely a company that I would recommend, as you will make a real impact with your work.

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