Day 9: BMW Welt (May 15)

Today was another highly anticipated event, the trip to BMW headquarters in Munich.  We took a bus there and upon arrival we saw several huge buildings.  There was BMW Welt, or world, where all models of all the BMW brands were on display, the BMW the museum, and the BMW factory.  We first went in BMW world and saw all of the cars including Rolls Royces, I-series, and Minis.  We were then taken to a presentation room where we saw a quick video about BMW before being taken over to the factory for a tour that followed the production process for the cars that are made their.  We saw the nearly completely automated process of the manufacturing of car bodies and drivetrains as well as the painting of the cars.  We once again saw KUKA robots doing a lot of the work at BMW.



It was really awesome to see how the cars were made.  What was most interesting to me was how the customization of cars is handles.  There is a warehouse of sorts with basic stock cars that wait for a customization order to be placed.  An automated system then locates a car to be customized and the whole process including parts and paint is completed almost entirely by robots.  This system of mass customization is something we learned about in Managing in Complex Environments last semester and it is really cool to be able to apply this knowledge to the real world so quickly.  I think that we’ll see more of a shift to this type of production process as the demand for customizability increases for all products not just cars.

After the tour we were planing on going to the museum, but it was closed so we decided to go to the olympic park that was built for the 1972 games in Munich.  We took an elevator to the top of the olympic tower and had a great view of Munich, BMW, and the olympic village.  After going up the tower, we walked around the olympic park for a bit before heading back to to Augsburg.


I think BMW was the best of all the company visits simply because what they make is the most interesting.  The park was also a fantastic place to visit especially because we weren’t going to go in the first place.  Tomorrow we are going to see Neuschwanstein, the castle that Walt Disney based his famous castle off of.  Expect some great pictures in my next blog and thanks for reading.

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