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In 2019, Brett Turner had the opportunity to take an internship at manufacturing enterprise Lowlife Products in Macclesfield. Here, he tells us all about his time there – including how he discovered the placement, the projects he worked on, and the lessons he learnt along the way.

How I discovered Made Smarter

I had recently finished my master’s degree in Industrial Digitalisation. This followed my BSc in Design Engineering – both of which I studied at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). The specific focus of my MSc was on Industry 4.0, including technologies like 3D printing.

Tutors at the university introduced us to digital technology internships through Made Smarter, and my background was ideal for a project at Macclesfield-based Lowlife Products. Find out more about Made Smarter Digital Internships

Brett's story
  • Taking the internship

    I applied for the digital technology internship via Made Smarter’s website.

    I was really lucky to be offered the internship opportunity, and more than happy to accept it. As well as the fact that it was in parallel with the work I was already carrying out, I was very keen to get real-life experience in the manufacturing industry. I began the role in September 2019.

  • My internship experience

    During the internship, I worked on making components using CAD design. I also ran virtual simulations, and identified whether new mechanisms had worked. These were exciting tasks to be a part of!

    One specific project that stood out to me was when I was put in charge of manufacturing components from moulds, including fibreglass roofs. To make these roofs bigger, we needed an extra piece for the mould. However, it was going to be expensive. Through my connections at MMU’s School of Engineering, I was able to get this CNC-machined at a significantly lower cost. I saved the business a substantial amount of money – something to be very proud of.

  • What I learn't during my internship

    The internship experience was incredibly valuable simply because I had the chance to see how a manufacturing SME works from the inside. Up until the end of my master’s degree, everything had been theoretical; I’d never had the opportunity to go out on-site and see how things were run in real life.

    On an actual manufacturing site, there is no room for error. Processes are very strict, and precision is key. Turnarounds were much faster than I expected as well, meaning you really couldn’t afford to risk getting something wrong. It provided invaluable insight.

  • Why I recommend Internships

    Since finishing work at Lowlife Products in January 2020, I can 100% recommend that others also take a digital technology internship placement through Made Smarter. It proved to be a crucial stepping stone into employment for me. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without it! It really was a great thing to be part of, and I can’t praise everyone involved enough.

    I think I got very lucky with my internship – Lowlife were open to trying new things. Having that level of responsibility was something I was so thankful for. There are many businesses out there that have been operating in the same one-dimensional way for a long time. Getting a technology student on board is a fantastic way to bring a fresh perspective and different skill set into your business, helping to save time and money in the long term.

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