The Language Barrier (May 15)

We had our last site visit today. At around 9:15, we left the hotel to walk across the street and board a streetcar. A few stops and a short walk later, we found ourselves at Hörauf and Kohler. This site visit was very strange because nobody in the high ranks of the company spoke English, so we had to get a translator. The company was very small, specializing in injection moldings. It seemed like most of their business and inventory was done on paper, which seems very uncommon for this day and age. They had some automated processes, though, including one single KUKA robot. During the question portion at the end, the production manager unfortunately mentioned that the company will probably be obsolete in a few years. Sadly, there isn’t much that H&K can do because most of their products either directly or indirectly end up at BMW. If BMW decides to make injection moldings by themselves, then H&K no longer stands as a viable company.

H&K’s Lone KUKA Robot

After the H&K visit, our presentation group went to the university to work on our presentation. We first ate lunch at the Mensa, and the language barrier became a huge problem. I’m still not exactly sure what happened, but it appeared as if we were not allowed to purchase food with cash. This forced some of us to use our passes which were supposed to be for tomorrow. Eventually, the cashiers understood what was going on, so they told the rest of us just to keep our meal passes for tomorrow, but Kayla and Anna didn’t get theirs back. Regardless, we all got to eat, so that’s good. From 1-5 pm, we worked on the presentation and our blogs with about an hour gap in the middle where everyone else went back to the hotel while I just relaxed. At 5:30, Lena and Lucia met the four of us to talk through our presentation. It was at that point where the suggestion of color coordination came up. This was an issue for me because I only brought one professional outfit. They teased me for a bit about my lack of preparation, but I still stand by my defense that this color coordination should have been brought up long before the trip.

After we organized the presentation, the four of us went back to town to get some pizza for dinner. The evening involved a major scare where we thought the project was done all wrong, but after we consulted Dr. Feick, he assured us we would be fine. To celebrate Jeremy’s birthday (which is tomorrow), we went bowling tonight, and some of us went to Pool City to play pool afterwards. I think I can now be considered a regular at the pool hall.

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