Today was our second company tour at Hirshvogel. First, we had a lecture from an advanced engineer at the company, who told us about the different forging and machining processes that the company does. He also told us about their business plans, and it was really impressive to me that a medium sized Mittelstand company could dominate its field like it does. After the lecture, we went on a tour of the plant, wearing our reflective safety jackets, ear plugs, and headphones to hear the guide. It was really cool to be able to see all of the forges in action, and see the differences between hot, warm, and cold forging processes. I really liked the fact that I could see processes that I had learned about conceptually in the past in action, and I was surprised at how in depth of an explanation we were given about the processes.
After the tour and a quick lunch, we continued our bus ride south to a town called Oberammergau. It was a picture-perfect German town near the border with Austria, and it was a great place to buy souvenirs for my family. I really liked seeing the old traditional buildings, but I am glad we are staying in a more modern college-town for most of the time, so that we can meet people our age that are not tourists.
After spending an hour strolling through the town, we got back on the bus and headed to the a popular mountain nearby. We somehow got 10 people into a cable car and took it to the top, where there was a restaurant and plenty of space to take pictures. The views of the Alps were amazing, and I was in awe of the massive size of the alps and how such huge mountains could be so close to the rest of Bavaria which is fairly flat.
As a whole, today was interesting because we were able to see another side of Germany in the small towns and mountains, and learn more in depth about an engineering process.