Placement Student

Work Experience as a Design Engineer at Hilton Process Solutions

Hilton Process Solutions provides design and manufacturing solutions and engineering support to some of the largest confectionery and food companies within the UK.

We provide a comprehensive range of services ranging from minor repairs and improvements, design and manufacturing of our standard range of products and other bespoke items, through to major project management and the provision of turnkey installation services. We specialise in stainless steel fabrications and temperature controlled process delivery systems tailored to suit the client’s requirements.

Our clients return to us time after time, because we understand their requirement for quality products and workmanship, value for money and the employment of safe working procedures required to compete within a hygiene conscious environment.


  • I am currently a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Leeds, undertaking a placement year at Hilton process Solutions in Elland, West Yorkshire.
  • I have completed years 1 and 2 of my degree, achieving first class classification for both years.
  • Upon finishing the placement I will return for the 3rd year with the experience gained and knowledge within the work place environment.
  • Potentially undertaking a 4th year to gain a Master’s Degree


Following submitting CV and covering letter I was invited to an interview. I was offered a placement post as a Design Engineer with responsibilities including:

  • Undertaking 2D CAD Design incorporating assembly and detail drawings, using Autodesk Inventor software and AutoCAD software.
  • 3D Modelling generation using Autodesk Inventor
  • Performing various stress calculations with regards to bending moments for structural frameworks.
  • Attending site to undertake surveys to attain data for the development of project designs. Due to the bespoke nature of the products HPS produce each project differed in design according to the customer requirements.
  • Undertaking 3D proposals for marketing purposes.
  • Undertaking working manufacturing drawings for the shop floor production.
  • Liaising with shop floor personnel throughout the manufacturing stages.


A few examples of the projects undertaken so far include:

1) Implementing iLogic

After being sent on an accredited training course to enhance my skills, iLogic was implemented into one of the standard jacketed vessel assembly and manufacturing drawings. This enabled me to develop not only my design automation skills, but will significantly reduce and standardise future design times and subsequent error from the changes to the standard vessel designs dictated by the customers requirement for a bespoke volume. I am also due to present the benefits of this system and how it will streamline the company to the company directors in the coming weeks.

2) White Chocolate line addition to Cluster former

This project was adding a white chocolate line to an existing milk chocolate system. A site visit was carried out to propose a solution to the addition of a new white chocolate temperer and retrieve dimensions from the existing pump framework to incorporate a new pump for the mirror image system. From this visit, a design was prototyped and submitted to the customer for approval. Once approved the design was manufactured within the workshop and sent to site to be installed. The installation was a success and we are currently awaiting the arrival of the new temperer to be then piped up accordingly.


3) Chocolate Melting and Holding System for Confectionery

One of the largest projects undertaken was a part of a new factory installation of a chocolate decorating plant. With the exception of the vessels, I was given complete control of the design of the framework which was the backbone of the project providing hygienic stainless steel tubular support for the pipe work systems, electrical control systems and electrical field wiring for the project. Due to the size and complexity, a complete 3D isometric layout was produced to include all the outsourced equipment, parts and pipework in the project, this was an extremely beneficial drawing that was used in all pre-project design meetings and soon became the focal point of the project by the customer requesting I encompassed other suppliers equipment within the drawing. Closely collaborating with the Project Manager and Site Supervisor to ensure everything flowed aesthetically and was manufactured to the industry’s hygienic standards, the framework was approved and then signed off for manufacture. I oversaw the manufacture of the frame within the workshop which was assembled in sections prior to being sent for polishing. Upon return the sections were delivered to site and assembled in sections to enable minimal welding in situ. This was a great success.

Also being heavily involved in site meetings and discussions from the pre-design stage through to commissioning meant I was included in every aspect and could actively contribute to the project.

This project and the responsibility & trust given to me has greatly benefitted me and my experience. From being involved throughout the project I have learnt an enormous amount about the confectionery industry and the process engineering involved within that. I also feel that it has also developed and enhanced my skills, confidence within myself and my ability.


Confectionery Project Proposal


Confectionery Project Completed Photo

Placement Experience

From an employer’s perspective, this is the first time we have experienced student work placement and from our experience we are extremely pleased with this candidate’s performance. From his initial few days with us, to where he is now is such a difference. He has quietly got on with whatever he has been given and each time has produced quality work on each project within reasonable timescales, the most pleasing aspect is the accuracy of his work and the attention to detail that he delivers. Over the short period of time he has been with us this attention to detail has shown to me his thought process and has given me a level of confidence in knowing that we don’t need to intensely check over the work he is producing. He has also developed personally and I have seen an increased level of confidence and his contributions and input into each design issue he is given. He has also gained a level of confidence and respect with the manufacturing team, as the drawings he is producing for manufacture is maintaining the efficiency of the company.

I feel the way he is progressing technically and personally is really positive and ideally this will lead to a firm job offer following his final year of study. Whatever his decision with his career may be, I feel that he has benefited greatly from his experience here at Hilton Process Solutions and the experience he has had in the Food and Confectionery industry will stand him in good stead for the future. He is a real asset to the team.

Robert Whyte – Engineering Director
Hilton Process Solutions