We had already been filling each day with a lot of activities and keeping busy, but this one was just seemed to be packed to the max.
Our third day called for our first site visit of the trip. We went to SGL Group: The Carbon Company. The company grounds were set up somewhat like a campus company with several different buildings, each housing a different department or ‘factory.’ The company itself was very cool, but it was also very engineering based which, as a business major, made some things slightly confusing. Overall, it was both interesting and understandable in both the presentation and the tour.
We got to see some of their production in action, including how they use KUKA robots, which is the company my group has for presentations which was interesting to see the crossover!
After a couple different tours within the company, we left Meitingen and were off to Munich for the BMW Museum, as well as a factory tour. I was really excited for both aspects of BMW because my family especially likes the brand (my mum’s first car was a BMW and my uncle also has a BMW motorcycle that I’ve even had the opportunity to ride). It was so cool to see all the different models of cars, bikes, engines and more! My favorite part was probably their new exhibit with the i series though. Seeing these technical advances in the car industry while simultaneously having seen where they came from was absolutely fascinating and an very rare opportunity.
Between the museum and the factory tour we had a little break, so we took this opportunity to grab lunch and also see Olympiapark München that was used in the 1972 Summer Olympics. It was pretty hot so being in business clothes wasn’t great but the park around the stadium was really nice and people were relaxing in the sun by the pond area there.
The factory tour had the museum beat though. The pain I had from my shoes was mostly masked by how awesome the plant tour was. Sadly we couldn’t take any pictures, but we saw the production process from practically the very basics all the way to the seats, which is pretty much the final step until the finished product.
We saw so many robots in action, welding and assisting putting the cars together, however they were almost all ABB robots not KUKA. Our tour guide told us that they use about 70% ABB robots and 30% KUKA robots. Although we couldn’t take pictures, walking through the factory is an experience I wont forget!
It was a long, tiring, and slightly painful day, but we saw some cool production aspects of the automotive industry.