Day 10: The Fate of Hörauf & Kohler

Tuesday, May 15

This morning we hopped on the street car at around 9:30 to go and take a tour of Hörauf & Kohler. This company specializes in injection molding and makes plastic parts for the automobile industry. The person who would normally give the tour in English was not there, so we had a German-speaking tour guide speak to a translator. Though I don’t know the technical terms as well as I do conversational language, I followed the German part as best as I could!

Our guide showed us the area where the injection molding happens. Lo and behold, they used KUKA robots for the process! In addition to this, we got to see their large storage and loading areas where crates would need to be organized in precisely the correct way to avoid a miss-delivery.

One problem H&K is having is that the staple of the company, the injection mold, is not a sustainable way of producing parts; plastics require petroleum, which is quickly being depleted from the planet. A second issue, more on the business side of things, is that virtually all of H&K’s products ultimately wind up in BMW vehicles. The company has all its eggs in one basket, not a good outlook for the long term.

After our tour, the rest of the BMW group and I decided to go to the University to work on our presentation with the good WiFi. But first, we stopped at the Mensa to get some lunch. After eating, we found a spot where the four of us could sit with our laptops and worked on the presentation for a couple of hours. Our plan was to meet with the Germans in our group at 5:30 so that we could all go over our PowerPoint slides together. A few of us needed chargers and I just wanted to change out of my professional clothes, so three of us made a trip back to the hotel before returning to the University.

After getting the slides all organized with the Germans, the four of us headed back to Königsplatz to go into the city and pick up some food for dinner. None of us really felt like a sit-down meal, so we went to an Italian restaurant and I picked up a sandwich, while the rest of the group got pizzas. We took our food back to the hotel and ate in the lobby.

I worked on the blogs and stressed about the presentation a bit more before a group of people decided to go bowling. I went with them to distract from worrying about what the next day would bring…

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Step count: 14,818

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