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Mechanical Engineering Technician Intern - William Becht


This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees.  The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.

Cummins full-time Technician interns embark on an extraordinary journey from their first day on the job.  Each student completes a challenging 10-12 week experience where their technical training is enhanced by our global innovation and development programs.  William Becht, a full-time Mechanical Engineering Technician intern, is quickly learning you’ll find Cummins innovation just about everywhere.

William, a Veteran of the United States Marine Core and Mechanical Engineering Technology student at Purdue University-New Albany, is in his second internship with Cummins and is a member of our High Horsepower Engineering team in Seymour.

“I’m helping launch the new Cummins 95 liter engine, the QSK95.  It’s an amazing engine used inside locomotives that generates over 4,000 horsepower and is 8 feet tall.  My team is developing an expanded manufacturing environment to help fill orders for new customers.”

And now for your All Access Pass:

William begins his day early in a confidential production meeting about the QSK95 manufacturing line.  He realizes it’s a highly visible project to transform a large space inside the facility into a world-class production environment – with a deadline of 30 days to be completed.  The logistics team has received new deliveries of software and equipment that employees will use to build each engine.  

My team connected with the Value Package Introduction (VPI) engineering team this morning to review the designs of the production stations.  From an engineering perspective, there’s so much to analyze when you’re launching a new assembly line.  Components, workstations, employee traffic flows and material stations – it takes detailed collaboration to make this happen.”

William’s experience in the military as a Combat Engineer is a natural fit for the project.

“Combat Engineers focus on demolition and construction. That could mean building a new base camp for troops from the ground up or taking out a minefield of explosives while on infantry patrol.  We’re always ready for anything in the military – and I’m ready for anything at Cummins.”

After the meeting, William joins several engineering and technician colleagues at the engine crankshaft workstation being developed on the manufacturing floor.  The group begins a morning-long session of testing new software to calibrate each production tool used during the manufacturing process.

“Now we’re coding the specific drills each production associate will use.  Our tools have precision software alignment points based on the individual size of each bolt head.  Cummins global quality standards are industry leading, so it’s important for us to eliminate any spec variance.”

William is energized to work on this critical project with the VPI engineering team.

“This internship is not one of those ordinary jobs.  We’re setting up the assembly line for the first time and all hands are on deck inside our engineering team.  It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: this new line will soon be producing Cummins most powerful engine ever.”

Just before mid-day, William leaves the manufacturing floor and joins the engineering team for a progress report meeting inside the facility offices.  It’s a closed-door session with roughly 20 employees invited.

“I’m headed to a group meeting with the VPI engineers.  We’ll discuss what new technology is coming in this week and strategy for the workstations being developed.  Today the facility is a blank concrete floor, but we’ll be manufacturing beta engines for our test cells within 30 days.”

William leaves the office just after Noon for a quick lunch with his internship mentor Larry.  Larry’s been with Cummins over 20 years and has a great deal of insight for the up-and-coming technician.

“He’s a member of our Functional Excellence team so I can talk to him about anything.  His guidance is a great benefit because you’re always learning here.  He really helps me visualize the options for my career inside Cummins.  I want to make the most out of this opportunity, and it’s a great feeling to have that kind of friend here to help me through this experience.”

William returns to the manufacturing facility after lunch and rejoins his colleagues at a different production station in development.  The team is analyzing the distribution of materials inside the engine block workspace and organizing the area for components flow.

“Reliability is important to innovation, so we’re building each station to function cohesively once production is ready to start.  My education at Purdue helps me when I’m on the floor with our engineers and the team collaborates about software technologies and components.”

Finally, at the end of his day, William has a one-on-one meeting with his supervisor about his professional development.  They discuss how the manufacturing line project is coming along, the experience of contributing to the team and an upcoming project that may be added to William’s work plan.

“Interns are here to learn, so I’m grateful when he gives me feedback to get better.  I’m learning something new every day and am excited to take on new responsibilities.  He knows I realize what we’re doing is important and I’m OK when my hands are dirty.  It’s a great feeling that he trusts me to make an impact on our team.  Technician interns are part of the success here at Cummins – so let’s get our hands greasy and put this engine line together!”