Today was great. SGL was an awesome experience for me. I’m actually sad that this will be our last company visit. Every visit has been an amazing experience for me to learn about industrial engineering directly and other areas as well. I have gained so much great exposure to topics in engineering and business that I feel will really help me in my future. Let me go into why SGL was so cool though.
Remember, I take everything from an industrial engineering standpoint. So when SGL shows us a process line that they have, I pay special attention. The first thing that SGL displayed on the company tour was the process of making the carbon fiber from the raw material. I do not fully understand the mechanical engineering that goes on behind the scenes but I did understand the industrial engineering that went into forming the manufacturing process. The setup that they had was that each of the four different processes in the line were connected to each other. Therefore, if one of the four processes had to stop for any reason, the entire production line would stop. This is not an efficient way to run a plant. That is why they are currently looking into a buffer system that would allow for intermediate steps where if one process is stopped, the others can continue without fault and store the product as a work in process until the broken process starts back up. This will increase throughput because if a non-bottleneck process breaks down, then the throughput will only be affected if you stop the entire line. Okay, sorry for the boring industrial engineering talk, it is just super interesting to me! I would love to do this in my future where I get to play with a manufacturing line and optimize the strategy of how to best run it to make the most profit. If you are interested, I suggest reading “The Goal” by Eli Goldratt to learn more about this stuff. I doubt I have any takers but it’s worth a shot. For lunch, I’m not exactly sure what I ate. Here’s a picture of it, maybe you can help me out. It was good though!
After the company visit, my group decided that we needed to work on our presentation. So I headed over to the University with my group and got to work. I think that it’s so cool working with the German students and their different point of views. They are a great group of people and very funny. It’s really cool how similar we are yet live so far apart. Hopefully this presentation will go well! We still have another day to prepare so it should. I’m nervous and excited at the same time.