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Name: Hannah Clarke

Apprenticeship: Higher Technical Product Design Apprenticeship

Company: Ishida Europe


Below, Hannah shares an account of both a day training at the EEF Technology Training Centre and Technology Hub as well as a day on the job at Ishida. 

College: Monday, 6 March 2017

My day began at 6:00am, this may be a tad on the early side; however, for me the journey is a 40-minute drive (including the M6!), which tends to have guaranteed traffic. Luckily for me, there are two other apprentices that live near me, meaning that I don’t have to drive as much.

This week, I am undertaking the first week of my milling PEO. As it is only the first week, I was focused my training tasks; this being creating a sine bar. Today, my focus was to clock up the milling machine and begin milling the material. Clocking up a machine can take from 5-20 minutes; however, as we are training, this can take a bit longer. Once I finished clocking up the machine head, I began to face off the steel. Not only does this ensure that the sides are parallel, but means that each side has an attractive finish.

By the time that I completed these tasks, I had already had one break and was coming up to my lunch break. Lunch at the college is half an hour in which you catch up on social media, chat with the other apprentices, read a book and, of course, eating. For me, I have my pack lunch and a hot chocolate from the canteen, my daily treat.

After lunch, I continued to mill my sine bar. My task for the afternoon was to begin to create the shape of the sine bar. This was done by using a slot drill and the use of precise measurements to create the outline of the sine bar. This task took me to my next break and continued to the end of the day. I intend to finish this task on Wednesday.

The last thing that I did was clean up. This is the same every day, at around 4pm the shop floor will clean all the mess that was created that day, as we would when the we return to company. Although it seems like a tedious task, it means that one can work in a safe environment and ensure that the milling machine can run at its full potential.

Once the cleaning was finished, I signed out at 4:30pm and proceeded to drive home.

However, not every day is like today, on Tuesdays I have my HNC day. I will continue this HNC even when I return to company full time next year, again one day a week. Through the course, I will complete units in the following:

  • Analytical techniques (Mathematics)
  • Engineering Science
  • Mechanical Principles
  • Pneumatics and Hydraulics Applications
  • PLC
  • Material Engineering
  • Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation


Ishida: Friday, 3 March 2017

Like college, my day began at 6:00, this being because my journey involves the M6 as well as the M5, again the traffic is more or less guaranteed. Unfortunately, this time there are no other apprentices/workers that are heading in the direction, leaving me to drive alone.

I am a technical product design apprentice, meaning currently I am in the design office. At the moment, I complete tasks such as orders from customers, modelling designs on Solidworks (a 3D CAD software), etc. Today in particular, I was modelling a hopper on the CAD software. I enjoy tasks such as these for two reasons: I believe it is a brilliant way to learn about the variety of components that make up Ishida’s products and I enjoy modelling in 3D. Each part of the hopper had to be modelled in 3D, from the main body all the way to the distancers that sit between the brackets.

Before I could finish modelling the individual components of the hopper, I was asked if I wanted to attend a continuous improvement meeting. As I wanted to get as much experience in while I was at company as possible, I agreed to go. The CI meeting gave me an insight further into the company and engineering as a whole, it’s because of experiences like this that I became an apprentice.

By the time that the CI meeting finished, it was lunch time. At Ishida, we are quite fortunate to have KFC around the corner and its due to this that it is where we spend Friday lunch. It is a pleasant treat at the end of the week.

After lunch, I proceeded to finish modelling the individual parts of the hopper. From this task, I advanced my skills on Solidworks and my knowledge on the assembly of hoppers. I then proceeded to go to the shop floor with another design engineer, it was here that I began to view a new design of a timing hopper.

By the time we returned, it was 4:30, also known as the end of the working day. I finished off the task that I was given today and then proceeded to drive home.

I won’t always be in the design office, soon I will be on the shop floor for a set amount of time before returning to design. This will give me a more in depth knowledge on the products. At the moment, the other Ishida apprentices are currently working on the shop floor before they move onto the designated sectors of the business.  

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