Norwalt was able to completely convert itself for COVID and it was an amazing experience being at the front lines of history.
Name: Kyle Seitel
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Location: Randolph, NJ
Can you describe the company and the nature of the work performed during your co-op? Norwalt is a custom design automated machine manufacturer that makes machinery to mass produce consumer products and medical devices. I started off my time at Norwalt as an intern in the summer, doing design work in Solidworks while I built 3D models of the conveyors and vision systems that were going to be used for producing Starbucks Creamer caps. When COVID hit, Norwalt became an essential manufacturer and all of us became essential employees and I was asked to come back for an all hands on deck experience. We all did design work to create the machines that made the COVID rapid test kits that are widely used by the public, the COVID spit test, and now are building the machine we designed for the vaccine stoppers. Norwalt was able to completely convert itself for COVID and it was an amazing experience being at the front lines of history.
Can you describe any orientation or training you received? Due to the pandemic, it was a hectic time, and things needed to be addressed as they came up. Towards the end of the semester, the vision system expert took me under his wing and into the field and onto factory floors. After successfully performing tasks on my own, he arranged for me to be able to take classes on Keyence and Allen Bradley vision system coding, and Neurala vision inspection in addition to the Cognex he taught me, already.
As you gained experience, were your responsibilities increased? My role within the company expanded dramatically as I gained experience. The start of my time saw me doing more 3D conversion, but by the end of my first week I was doing design work and by the end of my co-op, they made plans to send me into the field for a week to code a machine this January.
What suggestions would you offer other co-ops considering an assignment at this location? Be energetic and be excited about your work. People take notice when you are flying down the hallway because you want to be there as soon as possible and it goes a long way. As ridiculous as it sounds, me walking fast has probably done as much for me as the actual work I performed!