Day 3 brought us to our first company visit at SGL. SGL is a company specializing in the production carbon fiber. We were presented with an introductory slide show and talked with a company representative which was very insightful. I found it very interesting how the company was able to recover from the economic crash of 2008, and how the company plans to continue to revolutionize the carbon fiber industry. Their next big idea is a machine that braids the carbon fiber to construct super-strength parts for cars and other machines. It is so new and revolutionary that they aren’t showing it to anyone outside of the company yet. I was also fascinated by the amount of uses carbon fiber can have; from the sports industry, to the medical field, to jet engines and propellors. I also found the injection molding process they use to construct the parts very interesting. They form the carbon fibers into thin rods which are then cut in to tiny pieces and melted at nearly 1500 degrees Celsius. The carbon fiber is then poured into a mold and sets. Carbon fiber is such a versatile product due to it being extremely strong yet very lightweight. I found SGL extremely interesting and I see their stock continuing to rise. I believe that the market for carbon fiber products is largely untouched and that there are many more uses for carbon fiber that could be revolutionary. I would definitely be interested in an internship with this company. We weren’t allowed any cell phones or pictures here due to security and copyright issues.
We then went to “BMW World” which includes the BMW museum as well as the BMW manufacturing plant, both located in Munich. All off the cars manufactured there are made-to-order, meaning that each car that is manufactured has already been ordered and customized by the buyer. We weren’t allowed to bring our phones on the tour of the factory
which was disappointing because the assembly line inside the facility was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. There were hundreds of robots doing everything from spot-welding the frame together to spray painting the car. I was amazed at how modern and technologically advanced the facility was and the sheer size of the production process. The facility in Munich was 400,000 square meters and seemed massive yet pales in comparison to the 5,000,000 square meter facility they have in Spartanburg, South Carolina. BMW is truly revolutionizing the automobile industry and is constantly researching and developing new technologies to implement in their vehicles.