Design Engineering
Showcase 2021

Procter & Gamble

Tags
Electronics
PCB Design
Programming

Project Details

Student
Colin Laganier
Team
Research & Development - Oral-B Electronics
Supervisor
Dr Stephen Green
Role
Electronics Engineering Intern
Sector
Retail and Consumer Goods
Links
Email
Portfolio
LinkedIn

As an electronics engineering intern in the Oral Care R&D division of Procter & Gamble, I was given the opportunity to dive into the conception of consumer electronics and develop my engineering skills in the process. During my time as an intern, I have had the opportunity to learn more about theoretical electronics and PCB layout design, as well as develop my software development and prototyping skills. I have had the opportunity to carry out the development of a project from an idea to a fully functional prototype.

Procter & Gamble

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

The electric toothbrush market is very competitive and Oral-B is one of the leading players. For this reason, the company is constantly releasing new products and adding new features, while keeping manufacturing costs low. For this reason, the electronics R&D team is a very dynamic division where many different engineering skills are required.

During this internship, I created many electronic prototypes, ranging from breadboard assemblies, to hand soldered SMD printed circuit boards, to assembled SMD flexible PCBs. I designed the layout of multiple iterations of PCBs, for the different stages of the project on Altium Designer and had them manufactured. I also did a lot of programming, creating the software and libraries for the prototypes (C, C++) as well as worked on the integration of my project in the internal development software (C#). Finally, I applied my knowledge in design for manufacturing and assembly when creating the final prototypes, as my project was intended to be produced in P&G’s large automated assembly process.

PCB Layout on Altium Designer

Role and Contributions

As an electronics engineering intern in the Oral Care R&D division of the Procter & Gamble Kronberg (Frankfurt) Research Centre in Germany, I worked on the investigation of a new feature for the higher tier of electric toothbrushes in the iO line-up. The R&D team oversees the design and development the new features for the future iterations of the electric toothbrushes, working on devices which will be available to consumer a few years down the line. A lot of the team’s work revolves around finding components for the intended purpose and relentlessly subjecting the prototypes to tests to identify any potential hardware or software issues.

During my internship, I was assigned a project exploring a new technology which could be implemented in the product to improve user interaction. This project was my responsibility, and I was expected to produce final prototypes by the end of my internship, transferring the knowledge gained on the topic to the team and helping them plan for future implementation. I received invaluable help from two engineers throughout the internship and learnt a lot from them. This ranged from teaching me how to use the PCB layout software, to more practical electronics concepts and prototyping common practices, as well as helping me make decisions at key moments of the project.

The final prototype created was a successful proof of concept, which showed off the technology and proved that the concept was feasible and could be integrated successfully in the current product configuration.

Integrated Prototype

Summary

This placement was a great experience and would greatly recommend it to any Design Engineering student who want to dive deeper in the engineering of consumer electronics, as well as learn more about the inner workings of a large corporation like Procter & Gamble. The company culture is very open to students and encourages you to learn more, which is great as an intern. If you want to learn more, join the P&G recruitment event on the 26th of October!