Have you ever seen a multi-million dollar machine with thousands of moving parts that takes about a year to build?!? Well this fall quarter I got the chance to go with my IE course to one of the world’s largest manufacturers of earth moving equipment in the world! We were invited to tour the plant for P&H Mining Equipment Inc. here in Milwaukee. The tour was a great opportunity for students to experience the workplace and have a taste of what the mining industry is all about.

As an Industrial Engineering(IE) student, I’m really interested in production processes and how I can work to make them run more efficiently. Visiting several different portions of the assembly plant at P&H and understanding the different steps in building a giant mining shovel was a great way for me to actually see our course content put into action. It’s how I prefer to learn and it’s much more meaningful to see IE’s in action! Visiting this company’s plant was also a great opportunity to see some of the engineering marvels, such as machining giant gears (approx. 30ft wide), welding steel parts as tall as a house, and putting together a shovel that weighs hundreds of tons and is made out of thousands of unique parts. The tour also allowed us to see how different materials are treated, such as hardening processes and CNC machining, tools that are often studied in engineering courses. I had a great time and learned so much from our visit to P&H.

Rafael Possamai
Junior IE