I woke up at 7:46 am to the lovely sounds of Rick Astley. After a big breakfast, we got on the bus and were off to our last company visit, SGL Carbon, a company that specializes in carbon fiber manufacturing. Upon arriving, I was surprised at how small the facility was. It was a decent size, at least bigger than Faurecia, but somehow I was expecting a little bit more considering their industry. Once inside, we saw a display of their products and felt how light weight products made of carbon fiber really can be.
Our day began in a lecture room where funny enough we listed to three lectures. In all seriousness, the presentations were very interesting. The first presenter gave us some overview information about SGL and to help prepare us for our day. . The second person spoke the longest and talked about the the structure of carbon and carbon fiber itself. He started off by talking about chemistry, and since chemistry is not my favorite subject, I didn’t expect to enjoy the talk . It turns out I actually understood everything and enjoyed the presentation. I absolutely love North Carolina, and after learning that SGL headquarters is located in Charlotte, NC, I was even more interested in the company. We learned how they started from sport and Aero, and are heading into industrial uses for their carbon fiber.
The third presenter addressed careers and what its like to work at SGL. Employees have a flexible work schedule in which they work 35 hrs per week but can work those hours however they want to. Employees also get 30 days off per year, which is insane. Most companies in the US have a 40 hour work week, and employees sometimes have to work at a company for 10 or more years before getting 6 weeks vacation.
We took a tour which was really intriguing and unexpected at the same time. We saw how strands of carbon fiber, hundred of meters long were thread through a machine that actually braided the carbon fiber. The best way to describe it is two wheels containing spools of fiber rotating in opposite directions. It was pretty neat.
Afterwards we headed back to the lecture room and waited 30 minutes for the next group to return. Once they arrived, we feasted on a delicious meal of rice, veggies, and stuffed cabbage. The dessert they offered was a custard type of dessert which is one of my favorite
We then headed home, and everyone got together with their groups to prepare for the upcoming presentation.
My group worked on our project for over 3 hours, getting a good portion of our PowerPoint done. After everyone was done working, the guys wanted to celebrate Eamonn’s birthday. We set up a reservation at a Mexican restaurant called Sausalitos where we had some chips and dips and had another great night.
We then came home and fell asleep ready for the next day at Ulm. Thank you!!!!