May 7th, 2019
Wake up, breakfast downstairs, croissants, bacon and eggs, and we are off to Hirshvogel. Our first company site visit and we have no idea what to expect. We drove South of Augsburg to get to the plant. After a good nap on the bus we were at Hirshvogel. This is my first time at any manufacturing plant, my parents both work in offices so I have never seen anything like Hisrshvogel before. The parking lot is huge and every parking spot is filled, it seemed very efficient, everyone had a spot and none were empty. All walking 2 by 2 we follow a Hirschvogel employee to a conference room in the back and from there the presentation was started.
Before going to Hirshvogel I did not know anything about the forging process or what it actually entailed. But after a long presentation I started to understand the idea behind how to make the parts for the car itself. We learned about the background from the company and how Hirschvogel got started. The presentation also included thought for the future and how the company was going to innovate. My favorite part from the presentation was their focus on including their employees with their innovation. Not only are their CEO’s and corporate levels of the company in charge of company up with new ideas for the daily life of the company. They have incentive programs to help drive their innovative efforts, they give extra monetary prizes to each of their employees that submit a helpful idea.
Later in the presentation he started to talk about how the forging process was done. There is cold, warm, and hot forging. Each product has their own routine of forging, some have more detail and need to go through hot forging, and others don’t. I had never heard of forging before this trip but after his presentation I was ready to see it in action.
The presentation was finished, and we were ready to see the how everything works. We got dressed in a bright yellow vest, earplugs, and headphones. Seeing these giant machines pressing hot metal and making a car part out of it was baffling. There were variations of machines that were working fast and fulling autonomously, and some were working alongside humans. What surprised me the most was that throughout everything that was going on, each individual part was checked for perfection. No cracks or dents, or anything that would make the part not work its best.
After the tour was finished we went back to the bus to head to Oberammergau. I had never heard of this city before, but I had been to the French part of the Alps, so I was excited. We stopped and walked around the small town for a little bit, shopping and drinking espresso. I could tell that this has been turned into a tourist attraction by how many souvenirs there were in every single shop. I caved and bought my parents a magnet. The town was pretty but it was time to see the view from the top of the mountain. However, the only way up the mountain was by gondola. Again, I’m not the biggest fan of heights but I knew that I had to see this view. Scary to say the least but it was all worth it when we got to the top to see the most amazing of the mountains and over the village.
This day was filled with amazing sights and experiencing plenty of new things, but sorry Hirschvogel, nothing can beat that Oberammergau view.
Till next time!