Faurecia! Today we finally visited my company. I was excited to see Faurecia in action. I wanted a better understanding of my company and to see the factory at work. After putting on our safety gear, we began the tour. It was fascinating to see exactly how they test engines. On the factory tour, our guide told us that the company works almost 365 days a year-and I believe 24/7. It was magical how smoothly the operations ran. There were 3 shifts: a main from 7-4, a late, and a night. The main shift is when the majority of the testing gets done and the other two are to ensure everything is running smoothly. Faurecia is very organized as we saw a large board color which coated for each of the tests. The guide further explained the board by stating that engineers meet once a week to collaborate on new ideas and to see if tests need to be altered. I learned that burner and shaker tests usually take about three weeks while a hydro-posttest takes two to two and a half weeks, and an NBH test takes only two to three days. I also learned that there are six test centers for Faurecia and a lot of sharing is done between them. Our guide said that they do tests regarding engines for both the U.S. and Russia facilities. Then our guide took us to my favorite room- the Acoustic Room. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures on the tour or I definitely would have one in this blog. It is in this room that they measure resonance from the engine which enters the ecosystem. After leaving the Acoustic room, we saw where the engine and car prep areas were. Here I saw a car that had a black and white swirl sticker covering the entire car! I asked why is was shrouded like that since I’ve never seen anything like it. Our guide told us it was for concealing cars that have not been released yet so people do not know the new designs. Interesting! When our tour concluded, we headed to a presentation from the talent acquisition manager, Elke Schaal.
Elke Schaal’s presentation was very interesting. We learned a lot of data regarding the Faurecia such as it making 17 billion dollars in sales, 300 sites in 35 different countries, and that one in every three vehicles have Faurecia technology in them. I also learned that the company has had significant growth in the past couple of years in patent creations and investment spending. They are posed for future growth. However, with all these impressive numbers, the presentation itself seemed as though they did not know who they were speaking to. After Elke presented, she brought up Ivan who is part of their VIE program. He explained his program, but at the end it was disappointing because it was made clear that it would be only for Europeans. Another aspect of the presentation which I thought was odd was when they presented the graduate program to us. Perhaps they were looking for the future even with us? Another person who was part of this program also came in and talked to us about it. While it would be great to be in this program, none of us are even close to being graduates and a second qualification is that you have to pass a test in German which only realistically one of us could pass. After the presentations, Elke Schaal wanted to have a group picture. After which seemed like the perfect time to present her with our gift thanking her for hosting us. I presented this to her because Faurecia is the group I am studying and she did a wonderful job. The gift is a picture of an Andy Warhol painting (the Tomato Soup Can) and she seemed to be appreciative of it.
Later on we had a brief lecture regarding German politics. While it had been a long work day, for dinner Eamonn and I decided to check out what McDonalds would be like in another country. This McDonalds was much bigger than the ones back home as it had two floors and was MUCH cleaner and overall nicer. There were touch screens to order your food and a vast variety of choices. The food also tasted a little better than at home, but it might have just been because I was really hungry. A Happy Meal is a Happy Meal!