Site Visit: TE Connectivity and DuPont

This morning, I had to get ready for the second day of site visits. Today we had TE Connectivity and DuPont on the list. I had done research on TE Connectivity as a part of the preliminary presentation, but I was still not sure what to expect with this company. Researching them gave very little information, I knew the sold sensor and connectivity solutions, but I had no idea what this meant. When we first reached the TE Connectivity office, it looked nothing like the large campus of Cheetah Mobile, and when we first stepped inside it lacked the high-tech sophistication of Microsoft. I immediately thought this was going to be the longest site visit ever, and lost interest.  However, after the initial presentation, we started touring the factory section of the headquarters. I actually regained interest, since this was something I have never seen before. All around were robots and machines churning out little plastic products, or assembling little components of sim cards. There were workers hand assembling products as well. Similar to the perspective from the Yangshan Port yesterday, it made me appreciate processes that I never think about, yet I feel these benefits everyday. After we left TE, and ate lunch, we went to DuPont. I had no idea what DuPont even did walking into this. I was honestly intrigued by their introductory presentation, they talked about how they have been around since the 1800s, and all the technological advancements they have made for society since that time. After the presentation we toured a showroom with many of their products, including wallpaper that erased all marks made on it, Kevlar vests, and this phone charger. The phone charger was a circle with a lightning input for the iPhone. Once it was plugged into the phone, you put the circle directly over a black dot, and it somehow charges your phone. Then we toured the rooms with their machinery, and they showed us a car engine they developed made entirely out of plastic. The coolest part of the tour was the room that absorbed all sound. A normal environment emits sound at 60 decibels, their room was at 23! While the first two site visits amazed us with their fun atmosphere and high tech products, these two showed us real work. TE Connectivity showcased actual factories where many small, necessary pieces of products we all use are manufactured. DuPont showed us some marvelous technology, but something that many of us may be able to work on and produce after we graduate. It showed what the degrees we are pursuing may very well lead us to. I am very grateful for the diverse array of companies we were able to visit due to the Asia Institute’s planning. While the trip to China opened me to a new culture, and let me have fun in a new country, these aspects of our trip are what make it truly educational and we can look back on this at Pitt while we are studying and wondering what this is all for.  I know this will prove useful for me during stressful and trying times during the semester. IMG_4325

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