Viewing entries in

Garrett Howard – Final Thoughts

Garrett Howard – Final Thoughts


I have just completed my internship with Panther Industries. I learned more than I thought I could during my time here. My experiences ranged from designing new parts to running machines in the shop. Panther Industries gave me the opportunity to do everything an engineer does. As if that was not enough, they helped me improve in my people skills and made me feel valued in the workplace.

I started this internship with a SOLIDWORKS associate, high school lab experience, and a desire to learn. When I started I was given simple tasks such as correcting technical drawings. After about a month I was presented with new challenges. I began to work with parts and assemblies. The mechanical engineer Joel Lessard showed me how to properly express the ideas represented in exploded diagrams, consider a complex set of variables when designing a part, and ultimately what it meant to be an engineer.

Learning continued to be an everyday activity. As I continued learning more tasks were placed before me. I was given the task of designing a new method of displaying the machines. This involved designing and implementing a solution to better display and demonstrate machines. I worked with parts from 8020 and the machine shop’s capabilities to complete the solution.

As my experience continued to grow I was even given the opportunity to work in the machine shop. I prepped two sets of tamp heads and aluminum blanks for a bracket. The next week I ran CNC Machine that made the blanks into mounting brackets. I finished in the machine shop by finishing the tamp heads that I had started. All in all, it was a cool experience to work in the shop.

Panther Industries has left me with nothing to ask for. They guided me and helped me to grow not only as a worker but a person. I want to give a special thanks to Joel Lessard for guiding me and nurturing my skills through this whole internship. I went from knowing what drawings were to designing and implementing solutions with his help. I also want to thank vice president Mr. Dow. He was always friendly and made it clear what I was doing right and what I could improve on. I feel much more prepared for the professional world because of his direction. Panther Industries has been great to me and I am sad that I have to go. I appreciate everything and have nothing but great experiences from them.

– Garrett Howard

Garrett Howard - Halfway through my Internship

Garrett Howard - Halfway through my Internship

Garrett Howard - 3d Printer.JPG

I am now a little bit over halfway through my internship with Panther and my experience has been nothing short of extraordinary. Since the last time I wrote about what I was working on at Panther, I have been given the opportunity to complete numerous endeavors. Instead of seeing what an engineer does, Panther has given me the opportunity to experience what it is like to be an engineer. I have completed projects that encompassed all of the steps of the engineering process. Starting from a problem to refining a solution.

To begin with, I was able to come to a conclusion with the R&D printers. I designed a new set of rollers for the printer to ensure that the label did not get crumpled or jammed while it was passing through the printer. I designed the brackets in SOLIDWORKS, 3d printed the brackets and implemented my solution. My first solution was not working. This is where I got to complete the full engineering process and refine my design. My second design outperformed the solution that the manufacturer sent us. This was something I was proud of and excited about. I was very thankful for the support that I was given by Mr. Dow to get as far as I did on that project.

Additionally, I designed a part and numerous drawings for Panther’s new machine, the Panther Predator P9. With guidance from Joel Lessard, I created a bracket for the new P9’s pneumatic cylinder. This bracket mounts the cylinder and tamp head to the machine. After that, I worked with Joel to create the drawings for the subassemblies of the P9. This continued what I learned during the first quarter of my time here. I was able to further explain how to help machinists and customers understand the applicators we make.

The learning curve has been steep. Almost every day has been a new challenge. Even though the struggle I never felt at a loss. The staff at Panther were behind me at every step. Learning and improving has become an everyday experience for me and I love it. I came to Panther to see what an engineer did, but now I know what it means to be an engineer. I am completely content with everything I have learned so far. I am excited to see what I learn next.

Garrett Howard - Engineering Internship

Garrett Howard - Engineering Internship

My name is Garrett Howard. I was given the opportunity to be the CAD intern for Panther Industries during the spring of 2018 where I work in the engineering department with Joel Lessard. Before I started, I wondered what an engineer really did. I remember seeing engineers and people who tinker with robots and sit in front of a computer all day making models. I wanted to know what real engineers did. Since I have been working with Mr. Lessard I have had my eyes opened.

I realized that being an engineer was so much more than making models. It is spending long hours on a project that solves a problem. The thing is, in order to implement a solution, an engineer has to work with others. I have observed and become a part of this collaboration at Panther. Mr. Lessard has a web of connections. He connects with the service department when they have questions, creates the drawings for the machine shop, and contacts customers about their unique solution needs. This was a new world to me.

When I started at Panther I dove straight in. I started out correcting drawings, which was something I had never done before. I worked with numerous drawings. My activities ranged from adding single sentence notes to reconstructing assemblies. When my drawings were done I hoped that I was able to improve the communication between Mr. Lessard, the rest of Panther, and the customers.

I have just recently begun to solve problems myself. For instance, right now I am working on some R&D systems. My experience at Panther has been far greater than I expected. I look forward to my next three months as a Panther Industries intern.

Josh Thompson - Service Department Intern

Josh Thompson - Service Department Intern

Over the past few months, I have had the privilege to work at Panther Industries for a school project. Going into the new position as an unpaid intern, I had my fair share of reservations about the work I would be doing. Figuring that almost all of what I would do had some aspect of handy work; something I had no exposure to growing up. However, the field technicians are incredibly helpful and open to aid you in any way possible.

I’ve learned many new hands-on skills ranging from the types of hardware (why they are used in certain situations), assembling mechanical components, and even wiring electrical control boxes. Panther's process of first showing you the ropes on building the various labeling machines, then allowing you to recreate the process on your own, was very beneficial. The philosophy of experiential learning, combined with a supportive company culture, produces an engaging and exciting work experience that I would recommend to any of my peers. Alongside the technical skills you are exposed to, you are also taught integral group work skills. While many of the current professions offer a competitive “Me first” environment, Panther flips that stereotype on its head and fosters group based tasks. The soft skill of working together with your peers to accomplish a task is a rare one these days; luckily, I’ve found a place where I can truly grow and learn plenty of new things. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, and can not wait to spend more days working with the team at Panther.