May 7th, 2019
Hello blog, today was day 3 of Plus 3 in Germany, but its felt like I’ve been here for much longer. We’ve done so much in just 3 days I can’t believe it! Today was our first site visit to Hirschvogel. We left hotel Ibis at 8 am, and it was about 45 minutes away. After that, we had a planned visit to Oberammaergau to take a gondalia up to the top of part of the Swiss alps.
When pulling up to Hirschvogel, it was in the middle of nowhere! This wasn’t my groups company, but it definitely was not an experience I’ll ever get again. We started with brief presentation on the basics of Hirschevogel. They are a forging company that produces hundreds of variations of products for companies like BMW, Porsche, and Tesla. They have plants worldwide in Poland, the US, India, China, and Mexico. Mexico is their most recent development and Vanessa, one of the tour guides is in charge of getting that plant up and running. H. Has three forging processes: cold, warm, and hot forging. Each process is used depending on what kind of parts are being produced. They also have a combination of manual and automatic machines.
Next was the tour. We weren’t allowed to take any photos, but it was impressive how large their plant had been. They have 16 separate plants, each meant for different types of forging. Their most recent plant, number 16 is a warm forging plant and uses a lot of large automatic machines as well as some employees to transfer parts through different stages with the some of the more detailed products.
In between all of the plants in what seems like the core of their operation was rows and rows of steel beams that are brought in weekly. Our tour guide said that on average their are thousands of tons of steel in this yard that are worth about seven to eight million euros. Within each plant, another common thing we saw were stacks piled to the ceiling filled each with different parts. Forklifts were constantly driving through moving bins from one section to another. Some products were getting shipped out that day while others were waiting to be coated and go under maintenance. The tour lasted about two hours long and we were required to wear ear plugs, headphones and protective vests. My headphone set constantly was dying so I missed some parts of the tour, but luckily not much. It was crazy to see the employees of such a efficient plant after hearing how much H. Produces daily and weekly. For them their jobs are an everyday thing but I couldn’t imagine doing that every day!
After the tour, we ate lunch in the cafeteria where I ate spetzel and sausage! We also had some of the German students with us, so it was nice to get to talk to them again during the day and at lunch. It was also fun talking to Vanessa, one of the tour guides during lunch about her experience at Hirschvogel and in Germany.
The hirschvogel tour ended and we all hopped on the bus again to our next destination. Oberammaergua was another 45 minutes away from hirschvogel. After the long ride, we were given about an hour of free time to tour the city. A few of us went into a cafe in the center of the town called Dinzler Kafferosterei. We then headed to check out more of the shops. This was the first time I had seen a tourist shop while being here, since Augsburg is more of a college town than a tourist one. The German students even told us this was very well known to them as a tourist city.
To get to the top of Laber, the mountain that is part of the alps, we took an 8 person gondola. The ride to the top was about ten minutes. When we got the to top I was in awe at the view. The sky was clear of clouds and so blue! Even though the ground was covered in snow, it was around 45-50 degree with the sun out and no wind! The whole group spent around an hour taking photos and taking in the amazing sight.
After a quick trip down and still an amazing view, we returned again to the bus. We had a two hour bus ride back to Augsburg and had free time for the rest of the night!
A few of us decided to try an Italian restaurant down the main street of Augsburg for dinner tonight. Vapiano is a self serve restaurant with choices like salad, pasta, pizza, and lasagna. I had a risotto with steak and it was AMAZING. We definitely decided that we will be going back again before we leave! Excited to try more restaurants as the next 10 days continue!
Tomorrow: Group site visit to Continental, city tour of Regensburg and dinner in the city !