Monday, May 15th was our final company visit. This was the one we had all been looking forward to: BMW. As opposed to the train, this time we departed from the B&B (and breakfast) by a bus bound for Munich. After an hour, we arrived at BMW’s headquarters.
First, we were given the opportunity to explore BMW Welt (World), a massive company showroom for BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royce. We used the time to get into the cars, see the new technologies, and take lots of pictures. BMW Welt was the closest I think I have ever felt to the old “kid in a candy store” saying.
Then, we watched a short video and were led by a tour guide into the factory. The BMW factory was a sort of culmination of all of our previous tours. We had seen the components, we had seen the robots, now it was time to see them put together. Again, there appeared to be no workers in the factory other than technicians ensuring the robots were operating to capacity. In their place, the KUKA robots took center stage. At one point, five large individual robots each operated on the same chassis in a strangely fluid ballet with one another. The arms flipped and rotated the cars’ frames with relative ease. The factory was a marvel of modern engineering, and I was bordering on speechless by the time we left.
After a lunch at BMW Welt, we found out that the BMW museum was closed and instead we would be visiting the olympic park from the 1972 Summer Games. We were able to take an elevator up the needle and get our best view yet of the city of Munich. While I was disappointed to not see the museum, the view from the needle made up for the lost opportunity.
After the olympic park, we rode the bus back to Augsburg and our program concluded for the day.