On Day 3, we visited SGL Carbon Group. We were given a presentation that detailed aspects of the company’s products and production processes. SGL works with Carbon technologies and specializes in production of Carbon fiber for the automotive and sports industries. We were given a company tour in which we viewed the process for creating carbon fiber and a showroom of the various products produced by SGL. The showroom contained a car door, a canoe, a bow, and several other items made entirely out of carbon fiber. While I found it very interesting, some of the information about the processes involved in the creation of the carbon fiber was pretty confusing as I don’t have extensive background knowledge on this subject. After the tour, we were provided a great lunch in an office seating area just before we left.
After leaving SGL, we headed towards Munich to visit the BMW Museum and Headquarters. The museum was amazing and we were able to see the evolution of car technologies implemented by BMW. The museum also included models and outlooks of the future of car ownership and automation BMW hopes to achieve. I didn’t know prior to the trip that BMW actually owns Rolls Royce and Mini Cooper. The Museum and showroom had some amazing cars including one of my favorite, the BMW i8. We were able to sit inside some of the cars on the showroom floor. I sat in the all electric BMW i3, which had a very futuristic interior. Next at BMW we were provided with a tour of their factory. The factory is 400,000 square meters and produces four different models including the 3-Series Sedan, the 4-Series Hatchback and Coupe, and finally the M4 Coupe. Viewing all of the robots and various parts of the production process was extraordinary. We saw everything from the welding of car panels, to the production of seats, to how the cars are painted. One of the processes that surprised me was where the workers stand on the conveyor belt and move with the cars down the line as they attach last minute hoses and electronics to the under-side of the cars. The technology involved in the production process was ridiculous and it was a once in a lifetime experience.