Be referees

Time is flying and we have already been at the company for more than two months now!

As trainees, we received the honor of being referees in two different competitions this week. On Wednesday, me, Nina and Wictor were judges on Visionsdagen, a trade fair that is a final part of the project Gnistan. Gnistan is a cooperation project between Swedish Science Centers, Young Scientists and Vattenfall, with the aim of raising youth’s interest in science and technology, as well as giving them the opportunity to engage in society development.

The competition is based on a challenge in a topic that was “Design Your Energy Smart Future – Smart Water Management” and the groups that participated in this project were students in grade 8 from Strömslundskolan in Trollhättan and Centralskolan in Grästorp. It was really fun to be part of this project and to see the commitment that the young people showed with their well-thought-out ideas. Everything from different home water meters that showed how much water the household has used and what it costs, to treatment plants that can be placed in dirty lakes in poor countries. Some very innovative projects.

The excited referees at Visionsdagen!

Now on Saturday it’s time once again, then we all got the honor to be referees in this year’s edition of First Lego League at Innovatum. This competition is a knowledge and technology competition for young people between the ages of 10-16 and their tasks have been to develope innovative solutions to problems, building and programming a robot and marketing the solution and the team. This year the theme is “Into Orbit”, which means it is all about space and its science. Below you can see a small movie about this year’s edition and the missions that the robot will be able to solve.

It will be very fun and exciting to see all their projects!! May the best team win!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY1Z9kK71jQ

 

Bonjour tout le monde!

During the past week I’ve had French customers visiting my department within the space division. Thanks to our rich product key within both the civil and military market are no visitors allowed to walk as they wish through the plant. Consequently they need to be escorted by a GKN employee, a mission I didn’t hesitate to take on. Besides walking our visitors to the gate, their office and the dining hall am I accompanying many interesting meetings concerning the development and manufacturing of the nozzle (a very advanced exhaust pipe) to Europe’s next launcher Ariane 6. Normally I work with manufacturing engineering related to the nozzle so the given opportunity to take part of the work behind the curtains and the hardware logic is not only worthwhile for our visitors but also for me.

I am sure that many of you have heard about SpaceX, founded by the storied entrepreneur Elon Musk. He is also the founder of Tesla and a couple of other world famous high-tech companies. SpaceX’s idea is to create a reusable launcher in contrast to the current launcher programs which are scrapped after one journey into space. This brilliant idea might sound as no-brainer but the advancement in technology has always been the focus which never brought reusability into the spotlight – until now. Naturally, this puts a lot of pressure on the well-established rocket manufactures due to the fact that cost have evolved into a crucial success factor. Another important factor is the private ownership in SpaceX, both NASA and ESA are founded by governmental coalitions. This has increased the competition and driven lead times of development of new hardware to new dimensions.

But what have my French customers to do with this? During the following weeks will GKN together with our customers optimize our product so that we can launch a highly competitive rocket into space. And how cool isn’t it that Trollhättan helps putting Europe on the map when it comes to exploring space?!

A short introduction to the configuration of Ariane 6.


					

A lot has happened in a short time!

Hello, our devoted blog readers!

It’s now my turn to write a few lines about my first time at the company, hold on, it has happened a lot in just a few weeks!

I am currently working at my home department where we work with Lean and Logistics, a department that soon will be called Operational Excellence, and I’ve been enjoying it very much! During the 4 weeks that I have been here I’ve got the opportunity to get to know the lovely people who work here and the vibe of the department. As a graduate engineer, you work at your home department for 10 weeks before you change to a new department, which is a relatively short period of time when you are new at your post. Therefore, I’ve tried to capture the context of the department and tried to be involved in the projects that has appeared. I’ve been working with visualization of value flows and operations, the 5S method, and at the moment I work with SOLV (which my colleague Karin Thörnblad has created) which is an optimization model for optimizing production scheduling. Thanks to this, I have met and worked with many people with different posts at the company, and that has been the most interesting part!

In addition, Wictor Dörrich and I got the opportunity to attend a workshop last week where we discussed branding, and I will soon attend another workshop where we will discuss strategies in the field of environment. These are such inspiring meetings which I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to participate in!

And finally, I have one more update – We have got our trainee assignment for this year! We will work with VR technology during this year and create a virtual study visit at GKN Aerospace Engine Systems in Trollhättan, with purpose to inspire people with interest in technology to seek and apply to positions at our company. An exciting project that will give us an increased knowledge about VR and hopefully result in a tools that the company can use for future PR purposes!

On top of all this, snow has fell over Trollhättan and the city is now beautifully covered in cripsy white snow. I wish you a great week! Cheers!

/Nina Nordberg

5 graduates out in the snow! 4 next to the sign, 1 behind the camera. Photo cred to Wictor Dörrich

Training Days

Dear blog readers!

Last week was a special one at GKN in Trollhättan, we had what is called Training Days which is a week full of lectures and presentations from different disciplines within the company. The purpose of Training Days is to educate the personnel and to provide all employees with new information and possibilities so that one can develop in the daily work. Courses that were offered were everything between heart and lung rescue, employeeship and Additive Manufacturing (AM).

One course that all of us trainees attended to was the introduction course in Jet engine theory where the basics of how a jet engine works is stepped through. A great course for new employees but also very giving for employees who want to refurbish their knowledge. One thing, among many other things, that we went through is the intake of air and ways of compressing it. More specifically we went through the philosophies of radial compression (Centrifugal compressors) and axial compression.

Jetmotor with Radial (centrifugal) compressor

Radial compression works by taking in air and compressing it by forcing it in a radial direction which usually ends up in the engine and aircraft being quite chubby looking. One typical aircraft ‘suffering’ from this look is the Swedish air force aircraft called Saab 29 Tunnan. The design of such a jet engine is quite simple but very robust with few rotating parts. Although being robust is a good thing, this very design allow for less parameters to be optimized or allow for changes in the design.

Jetmotor with Axial compressor

Another type of jet engine is an engine with an axial compressor instead. The air is being pushed axially along a rotating shaft from left to right seen in the picture above. This is often done by several compressor stages e.g. a Low Pressure Compressor (LPC) and a High Pressure Compressor (HPC), each compressor stage usually being a set of rotors. Here the design becomes a bit longer but less chubby and usually having a lot of different parameters that can be optimized or re-designed. An example of an aircraft having this kind of an engine is the Swedish air force aircraft called JAS 39 Gripen….and basically all other modern aircraft.

Common for the two different kind of engines is that there always has to be a combustion stage to add energy to the system. After the air has been compressed it is mixed with kerosene and ignited. The hot gas propagates further down in the engine, it sets the turbines in motion which are driving the different compressor stages and the fan which in turn allow for more air intake. Further, the gas is guided out from the engine, here though a nozzle which purpose is to further accelerate the gas so that a greater thrust can be achieved. After that it is all up to Newton’s Third Law to generate thrust in the direction of travel.

Thanks Newton!

The purpose of this blog post did not intend to give a short introduction in jet engine theory, but I guess that is what happens when one gets a bit to enthusiastic about technology, science and stuff. Perhaps you learned something or perhaps you found the lack of explanation annoying! Sorry about that!

One popular way of describing a jet engine can be done with the following figure.

The fan sucks the air in, the compressor squeezes it, the combustion ignites it and then it is blown out from the exhaust. Credit: Stanford edu

Graduates from Siemens on the GKN site!

Hello blog lovers!

We are happy to announce that we had our first external visit this week! A friendly group of Graduates from Siemens, Finspång, came to the GKN site in Trollhättan this wednesday and we were very happy to show them around. We presented our companies and graduate programs to eachother and found that there are many similarities between them two, but also interesting differences. Afterwards, they got the chance to see parts of our factory as we followed a product along its operations and processes through the work shops.

Thank you, Sanna Alladin, Nicky Dahl Alfredsson, Nathalie Hideborg, Simon Täufer and Andreas Wedberg! It was a pleasure having you over and to get to know you.

We look forward to keep in contact, and hopefully we will see you soon in Finspång!

Graduates from GKN and Siemens: Towards the future!

An American Abroad

Hey blog readers! It’s Zenas Del Rosario—your friendly, neighborhood, American trainee. I’ve been in Sweden for about a month now and am proud to say that I’ve settled in just fine.

Flying in to Gothenburg from the US last month, I took no time before diving right into Swedish culture by taking in the sites. Shopping centers, museums, theme parks, OH MY! I was blown away by how beautiful the city looked. After an impromptu tour of Gothenburg by bus, I took a train through the countryside to my current home in Trollhättan. Thank goodness everyone here knows how to speak English! If not, I would have had a much harder time navigating my way around. I’m sad to say that I fell behind with my Swedish language lessons, but am happy that everyone here has been so accommodating. Other than the fact that the scenery is so much greener, Sweden feels just like California.

I took advantage of the weekend to unpack and explore Trollhatan to get my bearings, then started work at GKN Sweden that Monday, September 10th. Compared to GKN El Cajon, GKN Sweden is so much bigger. Walking around here is like roaming through a small city! An ID photoshoot, facility tour, and trainee meet-and-greet later, I was introduced to Workshop X and my coworkers in the Manufacturing Engineering Department. For those curious about what I’ll be working on, I’ll be using my expertise to support the GE New Product Introduction team as we troubleshoot problems, identify root causes, and work hard to fabricate shafts and rotors that MAKE THINGS FLY! The next 5 months here look to be exciting and full of learning opportunities. I’m ready to take on the challenges and perform at my very best!

Before signing out and flying on, I’d like to give props to the GKN staff and Graduate Trainee Network. The tips, tricks, and advice shared have been extremely helpful for assimilating into Swedish work culture and day-to-day life. For example, as the saying goes, “it never rains in Southern California.” If former El Cajon trainee, Nick Ninivaggi, hadn’t told me about the absolute need to buy a raincoat, I’d have been completely soaked through by now. Good golly, does it rain a lot around here! Bye until next time, readers.

Lunch with the coworkers. Hi mom! Your boy’s doing well.

 

Upstart Week Home Department

Good day dear blog readers!

My name is Wictor Dörrich and my educational background differs from the rest of the trainees, with a focus toward finance and business administration instead of engineering. If you haven’t read our personal presentations, feel free to explore a bit more about us HERE.

Starting with me, I have had a great interest for GKN Aerospace for a long time and when the opportunity appeared to pursue a trainee-program, I did not hesitate. It fills me with great joy that I am among four graduates within finance that have entered the trainee program at GKN since its beginning (1986) and I am looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities that will appear. If I haven’t mentioned it before, within this short period of time that I have been at GKN I have met a vast amount of wonderful people, especially the individuals in the trainee group that I have had the privilege to get to know on a deeper level. Additionally, the people in the different workshops and offices have given me great insight and advice, which I am grateful for now. I understand now why people love this place and stay here for a very long time.

“Time flies when you are having fun”. With this quote I can certainly define the first four and a half weeks. It is already October 3rd and Christmas is in sight. My fellow trainee colleagues do not appreciate the extravagant Christmas spirit as much as I do but maybe I should be realistic and understand that it is approximately 3 months left…but still. Anyways, all of us have now started the first 10-week rotation at our home department, mine being Finance. My mission is to contribute and learn as much as I can during this time. The project that has been allocated onto me from my manager Alexander Andersson is to develop an aftermarket calculation model for one of our risk and revenue programs. For me, this is as exciting as it gets but I just hope that time will be in my favor! For the rest of the trainees they have been positioned in different key areas in regards to their expertise.

  • Nina Nordberg has her home department within Lean & Logistics and her mentor and manager being Maria Persson. She will be working on 5S and working methods for overlooking systems, structure and visualization. Furthermore, she will be working with Solve, an optimization model for production planning.
  • Amanda Dalstam has her home department within Space in workshop X with her mentor and manager being Marcus Andersson. Her project will encompass manufacturing engineering with the SWAN team (nozzle). Her main assignment is to produce a risk analysis that will serve as a basis for continuous improvement in manufacturing.
  • Filip Jensen has his home department within Rotors, supervised by Rikard Nedar. Due to his expertise within Space Engineering and Instrumentation, he will be working closely on the Space RU & Prometheus project.
  • Emelie Rönnbäck has her home department toward Engine Development at the Defence & Military division. She will be working closely with her manager Christian Lundh on a project to further develop the RM-12 engine.

As you can see, we have an exciting time ahead of us with much to learn. The upcoming 10 weeks will be spent working on these aforementioned projects as well as different side projects in correlation with the trainee-program. Furthermore, we will go more in-depth in the upcoming posts about how it is going for us and what we do more specifically when we are a bit more “varma i kläderna” as we say in Swedish. In other words, a bit more familiar with the job itself. We are still frantically waiting for our collective Trainee Project that will be ongoing throughout the next 9 months here in Trollhättan. Moreover, we will mention further about it when we know what it will be more explicitly.

That was all for me this time, hope you enjoyed reading about us and how our current situation looks like. Looking forward to sharing many more interesting and captivating endeavors here at GKN.

Until next time!

First activity week done.

The fourth week of the young graduate program is a so-called activity week where we get the opportunity to visit different companies and also strengthen the group dynamic with some team building. This week was last week, which means a fully planned activity week with several study visits at different companies and ended with two days at Bohusgården with some leadership training.

Monday started early with a road trip (where Filip found his favorite spot in the middle seat) up to Kongsberg in Norway for a visit at GKN Aerospace Norway. They have close to 500 employees and we got the honor to meet Håvard Norum, the head of their technology department and two master students who do half their education at GKN. We received a very good welcome and learned a lot about their organization and production of different components for different airplane engines. Really interesting to see and hear how they have it there.  

Study visit at GKN Aerospace Norway in Kongsberg.

Tuesday also started with a long drive, from Kongsberg down to Gothenburg where a study visit to SKF was on the schedule. SKF is a technology company that mainly designs and manufactures different bearings; ball bearings, roller bearings and slip bearings for several different industries and applications. Among other things, we saw their production and parts of it have been much automated with robots and self-going trucks. Super cool! We also had a chat with Anneli Sundblom who told us about her trip in the company and tips and tricks that we can think of in our careers.    

Study visit at SKF in Gothenburg.

Study visit at SKF in Gothenburg.

Wednesday’s first visit was at Volvo Cars in Gothenburg and a tour with the blue train, where we were taken to the production and got to see how automated it is with all their robots which are more than the number of employees in that workshop.

Then we got to visit their Brand Experience Centre where we got to see and hear a lot of their innovations that make life better and easier and you really wanted to get a new nice Volvo after that. Just start saving money! We also learned that we have a baby elephant among us, Wictor, if he was going to crash with a car at a certain speed.

Study visit at Volvo Cars Brand Experience Centre in Gothenburg.

Last at Volvo, we got to visit their aftermarket and see their giant inventory, but now it is getting too small with all their products. It was interesting to see how their logistics works and all the trucks in motion. Felt like a highway with trucks, a miracle that they do not collide!  

The day did not end there, as we also visited Aeroseum in Gothenburg where we got to see several different fighter aircraft throughout the ages and their history. Our children’s mind came alive again when it became a lot of play and fun.  

Visit at Aeroseum in Gothenburg.

The last two days were spent at Bohusgården where we had educations in group and leadership. There we also had the traditional trainee baptism in the sea that this year was done in a stormy and cold sea. Now that we have survived this intense week, the first rotation begins at our home departments, where in my case is on the military side, where I will be part of a design project of the RM12 engine. Super excited!!

Excited team before the baptism.

Good times!

Two exciting weeks in the workshops done

Time just fly by and at this moment we’ve just finshed our weeks as apprentices in the workshops all around the plant. In two weeks time has everyone of us new trainees followed certain products and their flows to get to know the company at the core. But before entering the real workshops we got a couple of intriduction days in the workshop which belongs to GKN’s secondary education and we got the oppurtunity to get some hands-on experince. We can proudly tell you that we’re now able to turn and mill by ourselves (very easy geometries, but still…).

However, I spent my first week in my workshop togheter with the operators at the differrent machnies and processing steps. And I learnt alot, but I’m far from being an expert as the guys and girls working on the floor truly are. The last week I’ve spent more time in the offices since I been working with the product manufacturing engineering team, the link between the withe collar and the bluecollar work. My collequges on the other hand have done all sorts of things since we’ve been at different workshops where different type of products are manufactured.

I’m sure of that I can speak for all of us when I say that we are starting to get ready to face the world of GKN as trainees! But before you’ll read more about our first rotations at our so called home deparments you’ll get the chance to travel with us, and where we’ll go remains unkown until we see you next time!

PS. If our beloved readers would like to get to know us new young gradautes better, there are now presentations about ourselves up on the blog.

The new Young Graduates are here!

Autumn is here, which means: New Young Graduates at GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan!

From the left: Wictor Dörrich, Filip Jensen, Nina Nordberg, Emelie Rönnbäck, Amanda Dalstam

Finally, the Young Graduate Program has begun! It has now fallen upon us to keep this blog going for the events to come. We will soon post presentations of ourselves, but here is a sneak-peak:

Wictor Dörrich
B.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Management, M.Sc. Business administration, Jönköping International Business School

Filip Jensen
M.Sc. Space Engineering, Spacecraft and Instrumentation, Luleå University of Technology

Nina Nordberg
M.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Management, Mechanical Engineering, Karlstad University

Emelie Rönnbäck
M.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, Linköping University

Amanda Dalstam
B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, M.Sc. Production Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology

We have had two fast-paced weeks of meetings and workshop practice, and we have begun to create a greater understanding of the company’s core business and products. But the journey has only begun!

We are super excited about these upcoming 18 months and everything that it will offer us!

/Young Graduates 2018-2020