Wednesday was the most packed day by far! We visited 2 Munich located companies, Webasto and BMW.
The key aspect that I remember from the Webasto visit, was the architecture from their new offices and workstations. Webasto is a rook manufacturing company and so what that meant was we walked through the work/ testing station and one of the lead engineers walked us through. The testing metrics were determined and tested through a shaker, temperature, acoustics, and weight room. It was really interesting to learn about how detailed the rood engineering is and its significance to our traveling experiences. It truly opened my eyes to the effect and value of all car parts, not just the stereotypical engine and interior/exterior. This then headed us to lunch, where I had a pretzel and Kase Roll (cheese sandwich). Since we were one our own time we had to reach outside the bus, but I can’t complain that the weather was sunny and it was refreshing to spend time outside! And then this led us to the BMW Headquarters.
We started with the factory tour and it was probably one of the most fascinating moments of the entire day! Though we were not allowed to photograph or video anything, for the safety of their facilities and infrastructure, I felt as though this just helped me to truly take everything in through my own two eyes and not the eyes of my phone. Everything or almost everything was automated with these orange robots manufacturing every part of the production line. There were robots for welding the outer structure together, for assembling the engine, for putting the doors and side bumpers, and so much more! It was insane to see how there was practically no one on the production floors and it was entirely automated. Another interesting feature of their production was the layout. BMW optimized the layer and direction of the warehouse. In one part of the production line, there was an elevator system where there would be a part being delivered from the 3rd floor into the 1st floor and then the elevator would take it somewhere else. All of this was more or less as I had initially imagined what an automated manufacturing line looked like, but being there and seeing it with my own eyes just opened up the amount of work that it put into making a car from engineers, workers, designers, even the machinery and beyond!
The factory tour was then followed by a museum tour with all of the history of BMW. The most enchanting part of the museum, because it truly was breathtaking, was the walk of motorcycles. As we learned today, BMW has a rich history regarding motorcycles, so there was a glass cased wall with all of the motorcycles in chronological order of manufacturing. Here’s a photo of a futurist motorcycle!
They had cars from all eras and makes and it was just beautiful to see how celebrated the brand is and how it has evolved over the years! The visit ended with a Q & A with one of the engineers.
For dinner, well that was an even more interesting story! My friends and I went to an Italian restaurant, however when we got there we realized that the restaurant owners did not know much English and well we were not fluent in German either and we were the only one’s there. However, this was such a wholesome experience because Monica, the waitress and our new friend, and I were conversing in broken English and German. I took German in highschool and though I hadn’t truly spoken it in 2 years, I managed to order for all of us and even ask them their names and stories. Monica even taught me some new words and phrases in German and even met the chef, John Paulo! They were both so sweet and so happy to help and it was just so nice to feel that kind of generosity in a new place. I can’t wait to come back and see them again! Today was a very special day!