By , December 8, 2012
Kevin Young

Hey everybody!

It’s been a few weeks, so I figured I’d give you a quick update on what’s been happening around the shop.  Fun Spot progress continues, as the first powder-coated steel has arrived on site in Florida.  Another truck has left the shop for powder-coating, and we are already working to get material ready for a third.  I’m not exactly sure how many trucks it will take to finish this project off, but rest assured that these first two only scratch the surface.

One thing that GCII really allows the interns to do is make contact with several of our vendors.  I was sent to the powder-coater to load the first truck headed to Fun Spot, and given responsibility to make sure things were loaded and packaged properly.  Since this is a first-time deal for everyone involved, there are still several kinks to be worked out, and I had to straighten some of them out myself on this particular trip.  As far as I’m concerned, all of these kinks center around getting the steel to Fun Spot in the most perfect condition possible.  We have to consider the fork lift moving it around, the steel shifting around in the bundle itself, and finally the cribbing the steel rests on in the truck bed.  Our guys are working hard with the powder-coater to make this happen, and I hope the finished product will reflect that work.

Well, that’s the vast majority of what I’ve been up to the last 2 weeks at the shop.  This week will be my final week here in Sunbury, and I will be back with a final wrap-up of my experience here in the next couple of weeks.


By , November 17, 2012
Kevin Young

Hey guys/girls!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks, but here’s a quick update on what’s been happening in the last few weeks.

Firstly, steel has left the building! Chord and diagonal pieces left for the powder coater, their last stop before arriving in Orlando, FL.  It’s exciting to see the project beginning to move into its next stage.  Still on the topic of structural pieces for Fun Spot, we have begun working on the 5×5 pieces that will make up the vertical posts for this ride.  Let me tell you now, 5×5 is NOT very easy to work with, and requires two guys at all times.  Josh and I have come up with a decent system to get the work done though, so things have started to run much more smoothly.

Also, Colin and I have each gotten the opportunity to travel the last couple of weeks.  I travelled to Lake Compounce in Bristol, CT, this past week, and it was very interesting to see how our engineers get all the information to build  & repair rides at parks.  This was my first real chance to participate in surveying anything, and it was definitely worthwhile from a learning standpoint.

Since we do more than work during this internship, it’s worth noting that I’ve gotten to help with a couple of cool things outside of GCII in the past month.  First, I’ve gotten to help work the Elysburg Haunted House.  The house benefits the local fire departments around here, and Chris invited us interns to come out and have a good time scaring some local victims.  It was awesome! You’d be amazed at people’s reactions when they walk through a forest and the trees start moving and making noises right around them. That was my first working experience at a haunted house, and I would definitely do it again.

Also, I was able to help Chris with his model of the new GCII junior shuttle, and more importantly learn how a coaster comes together.  He builds his models completely from scratch, and it’s amazing how realistic they look after completion.

Well, that’s all for now, hope you’ve enjoyed this quick update.  Headed home to Nashville for Thanksgiving!

Until next time!

Mid-way Recap!

By , October 22, 2012
Kevin Young

Hey everyone!

As I reach the midpoint of my internship here at GCII, I thought it might be a good idea to recap some of the things I’ve done and learned so far for those who haven’t been reading along.  It’s already been a great couple of months here and I’ve been busy from Day 1.

The Fun Spot project is the primary reason I was brought in to GCII.  This project, GCII’s first ever completely steel-structured wooden coaster, requires hundreds of individual supports that are cut and punched to specifications here in Sunbury.  While we have just scratched the surface on the processing of this material, the problems that have already been uncovered and solved have given me valuable experience into how to go about managing a first-time project.  Furthermore, seeing the attention to detail taken by the employees here in regards to this project has shown me exactly why GCII’s rides are some of the highest quality in the amusement industry.  Absolutely no detail is too small to examine in depth, especially when dealing with a new structure type.  I cannot wait to see White Lightning built and know that I had a hand in its creation.

In addition to White Lightning, Jerry has given me many opportunities to get my hands dirty working with part fabrication for Gold Striker as well as our transfer tables.  I’ve gotten to see several parts through from raw material all the way through final painting.  I’ve also gotten to go out to the job site and see how some of these individual parts fit into the big picture of the ride being built, which from an engineering standpoint might be the coolest part.  Seeing exactly how a part fits onto a ride and getting to experience part fabrication first hand will be invaluable in the future with part design.

So, what are some of the big picture things that working at GCII has taught me thus far?  First, and most obviously, there is a whole lot more to building a roller coaster than jotting down an awesome layout.  Every individual part of the ride is carefully designed, from the loading platform all the way through the final brake run.  Secondly, when working at a small company the responsibilities of the employees are amplified much more so than at a large corporation.  As an intern, l get to do meaningful work that has a direct impact on the product GCII produces.  This has created a highly rewarding experience so far.  Lastly, as an engineer it is very rare that you will work exclusively with your discipline.  So far in my internship I’ve gotten to see civil and mechanical engineering in action, as well as part fabrication and construction.  These are three different disciplines all equally important in making a high quality ride.

Well, I hope this has been a decent recap of what I’ve done so far this term.  In my next entry I’ll get back to talking about our current activities and such, which should be pretty interesting.  I hope my blogs so far have been informative and I encourage you to continue reading throughout the second half of the term.

Happy Early Halloween!




  кондиционеры сплит системы с установкой в могилеве

By , October 7, 2012
Kevin Young

Hey everyone!

The last couple of weeks have been really busy here in PA, as we are now in full steel processing mode for Fun Spot as well as finishing up numerous tasks having to do with the transfer table project.  I’ll talk a little bit this time around about both projects and the progress we are currently making.

The bulk of my time the last couple of weeks has been spent cutting steel to length for the White Lightning project at Fun Spot.  While the task of cutting using a band saw is simple enough, what makes it somewhat difficult is maintaining the tight tolerances our drawings require while still moving at a tempo quick enough to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time.  However, it becomes easier and easier when you are making almost 700 cuts in a week’s time.  I enjoyed the responsibility of maintaining quality on pieces that will actually be put on a ride, as well as the task of figuring out how to do it quicker while still maintaining that high standard.  One of the greatest parts of working for a small operation like Great Coasters is that each and every person’s time and skills are utilized to the maximum, interns included.  While Colin and I are both here to learn as much as we can about the amusement industry and how this company operates, Great Coasters really allows us to work independently, which gives us responsibilities and experiences we might not be able to get at a larger company.

I’ve been given the opportunity each of the last two weeks to go out to the site and work on our transfer table project, and both times on site have offered me great hands-on experience.  I’ve actually gotten to help put a deck together, as well as aid in setting up with some of the mechanical components of the table.  Everything happens more quickly on the job site than in the shop, which is primarily a function of it being assembly only.  However, there’s still a ton of work to do and it still takes a crazy amount of time to complete things. It’s neat seeing the small parts that have been created and sub-assembled in the shop placed in the larger structure of the ride, and how each and every small component will actually work together in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve been taking pictures of the steel process for Fun Spot, and hopefully those will be posted very soon on the site! A month is in the books here at GCII, and time is flying by. I can’t wait to tell you more next time!

Stay tuned!

By , September 18, 2012
Kevin Young

Hey everybody!

I thought I would check in and let you know a little of what’s been going on at the shop since I posted last week.  We’ve been in a transition period since early last week,  finishing up some of the parts for the transfer table project and pushing through some of the steel structure for Fun Spot!  Also, as you’ve possibly already seen on the GCII facebook page, the bridge steel is headed out to California!

I had the opportunity to create an entire part for the new transfer table from start to finish last week, which was pretty awesome.  It started with cutting a length of bar into several shorter segments, each needing to be the same length.  Then, two different holes were drilled using the drill press.  I really enjoy using the drill press because of how precise you can be, as opposed to angle and location variation that can come into play with a  hand drill.  Finally, the holes had to be reamed for bushings and primed to prevent rust.  I was able to see this part creation through from start to finish, and it will be cool to see it once it is added to the brake run assembly.

Steel structure creation is well under way at the shop, and it is a great learning experience for everyone involved.  Since this is our first time doing a primarily steel structure, each and every step of the way presents new challenges that must be solved.  It is absolutely amazing to see the amount of work that goes into preparing for projects, and the attention to minute details that each person is required to have for every activity and job we do.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the bridge steel I talked about during my first post is now on its way to California, and you can see pictures on the GCII page.  I’m going to try in the next couple of weeks to take some pictures of our steel structure work, so that you can see the numerous steps that it takes to make raw metal into the beautiful creation that you will see in a few months!

Until next time!

By , September 10, 2012
Kevin Young

Hey guys, how’s it going?!

I’m back to let you know what’s been going on the last week here at GCII!! It’s been very busy and each and every day provides new learning experiences.  This week I had the opportunity to throw around (or fail at trying to throw around) large amounts of heavy, dirty steel.  I also got the opportunity to use new equipment to create parts for a transfer table braking system.  These two things will attract most of the attention of this post.

About a week ago,  a large bundle of bridge steel arrived for one of our projects.   Because certain pieces of  steel can be up to 40 feet in length and our receiving yard isn’t that large, our group tries to get things in and out as quickly as possible.  With that in mind, we laid out the steel and had holes drilled and ground down within 3 work days of the steel arriving in the yard.  The morning after the steel was all drilled and bundled, the truck was on its way to the galvanizer.  As you can probably assume, all space in the shop is valuable and we try not to waste it if at all possible.  When a project is complete, it’s out the door.

The last few days we have been heavily focused on fabricating brake segments for a transfer table.  I’d have to say the coolest part of doing this is seeing raw material of many varieties turn into organized pieces with their own distinct purpose. The process to create a part from raw material requires multiple steps, each with their own unique challenges.  First we must measure the material and mark it accordingly.  Measuring is typically done at each and every step as the part begins to take shapes and assembly constraints come into play.  After initial measurements are taken,  Josh and I cut numerous pieces of steel bar and tubing and punch/drill holes in accordance with drawings given by the engineering office.  I quickly learned last week that  we only keep a very small amount of extra material on hand so it’s generally a good idea to double check and cut it right the first time. After all pieces are cut/drilled/etc, Josh then welds them together, and boom, you have a part.

On a side note, it is worth mentioning that I’ve gotten to use several of the pieces of equipment in the shop while working on this project,  and that exposure will be invaluable going forward. I would advise anyone who wants to do this kind of job to take every opportunity you can to use new equipment and try new things (safely, of course).  Every new thing you learn will make your job easier and more efficient.

It’s starting to get exciting as more of the angle members arrive for the Fun Spot steel structure.  I’m sure I’ll have more on that process once it begins in earnest, but until then I’ll several smaller projects will keep me, and maybe even you guys, pretty occupied and entertained.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

By , September 3, 2012
Kevin Young

Hey everyone!

My name is Kevin Young, and I’m very privileged to be working at GCII this semester. I’m from Nashville, TN, and am currently studying mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you for the next few months and giving some insight into what goes on at a global company like GCII from a new employee’s point of view.

While Colin’s primary focus will be trains here at the shop, I have been brought in to work in the steel structure department. I will hopefully have the opportunity to learn how to use many pieces of equipment in the machine shop that I have never gotten to use before and master them by the end of the term. Who knows, maybe I’ll even learn to weld?

I arrived on Saturday and Colin showed me around the booming metropolis of Sunbury, PA. Boasting a soon-to-be Super Wal-Mart and a Red Robin, this city has all that any person could ever want or need. We checked out Knoebels after I arrived, which for anyone who has never been is an awesome park and probably one of the better kept secrets of the amusement industry. The food is tremendous, and the bumper cars are out of this world.

I was busy from nearly the first minutes I walked in the door at GCII on Monday, counting incoming parts and making sure we received the correct quantities of each one. That didn’t last long though, as I was quickly taken by Jerry to begin work in the structure shop.

The Great America and Fun Spot projects are both well underway, and currently we are trying to get all of the general steel work for each of those projects completed. When I began work on Monday, I started out drilling holes in the new trough liner for our chain trough. We pre-drill and countersink all of these holes before going on-site so that there is minimal downtime once it arrives. Once that was completed, Josh and I began measuring and drilling the trough channel that the liner will sit in (Josh works under Jerry and will be showing me the ropes on most things in the shop). Once every piece was drilled, we stacked and banded the channel and liner in exact quantities to go to Great America and Fun Spot.

More steel arrived on Friday, and the process of measuring and drilling bridge steel is well underway. I will have more on that next week, as well as exciting tales from the shop. It’s about to get REALLY busy here in the next few weeks, so the action is going to be fast and furious I’m sure. I hope you’re as excited as I am!

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