Weights and Measures (with some industry advice)

By , December 4, 2017
Mike Troise

Last time I wrote, I left off with shop inventory being conducted. That was quite the process! For the better part of a week we were counting every part in the shop and putting things in proper places on the shelves. It was definitely something that needed to be done but I am certainly glad it is over. Since then, we have gotten the next set of chassis off the shelves and onto the work benches to begin our next two trains. Dan is off at the job site with our last set of trains so Robert and I have been working with the other mechanic Todd to begin work on these new trains. This has included the bolting of the two chassis halves together, installation of ARB and chain dogs, and more.


What is interesting with this next set of trains is that some of the design changes the park requested have led us to reconsider some of our component weights. This is leading to a new task for Robert and I. While we assemble these current trains, each component added to the train during assembly is to be weighed. We will be writing subassembly lists and tracking the weights of everything, creating a database that can be referenced in the future. While not the most glamorous task, it is pretty neat starting something that will hopefully be useful to the company for years to come.


On the fun side of things, about two weeks ago, Robert and I had the chance to attend the IAAPA Trade Show in Orlando, Florida. The IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction) Show is hands down the largest event for the amusement industry. Companies from every component of this industry attend, from roller coaster manufacturers to food vendors and more. While my original intent for this blog was to cover what I have learned about networking at events such as this and how to “make it” into this industry, Robert actually did a terrific job covering this in his most recent blog and I urge students interested in this industry to check it out (here is the link to his blog: http://greatcoastersinterns.com/?author=28). Instead I just wanted to quickly reflect a bit on what I noticed in what was now my second trip to IAAPA, which may lead to a tip or two of my own as well.


Last year was extremely nerve-racking at IAAPA. I knew just about nobody in the industry, didn’t have industry experience, and was trying to get my foot in the door with as many companies as possibly and make as many connections as I could. I felt like a small fish in a real big ocean. But at that IAAPA so many connections were made and the few industry friendships I had grew stronger. Now a year later, I was able to strengthen my connections, seeing both students and industry professionals who I may have worked with (at Universal Creative and GCI) as well as those who I met at previous events. One of the most unique experiences was manning the GCI booth at times when the rest of the staff had meetings. The roles so quickly have changed. A year ago, I was walking up to booths talking with engineers and other company employees, and then this year I was talking to students who were asking ME for advice on getting their foot in the door. It was so strange but so cool at the same time.


I will conclude again by saying that Robert’s advice certainly holds true. In this industry hard work never goes unnoticed. Be persistent. Email companies, network and industry events (like the IAAPA Trade Show and ASTM F24 conventions), and take advantage of EVERY opportunity presented to you. There are a lot of people in this industry who are here for students, and for any students reading this, if I make it there some day, I hope to do the same. For now, if anyone wishes to contact me with questions, feel free to reach out (mjt4432@rit.edu). I also want to give a quick plug to Irvine Ondrey Engineering. They are a wonderful company who actually does the control systems for some of GCI’s United States rides. Anne and Brian are some of the nicest people you will ever meet in this industry, and if you EVER need advice, reach out to them (they are very responsive to facebook messages and email).


This blog certainly went on for longer than expected so that is all for now. Sad to say I only have two weeks lefts at GCI and then it is back to school.



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