Last week we had an excursion to the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgard, Germany. The museum had several floors, and each floor had a different era of Mercedes models; the first floor was a collection of some of the first and oldest Mercedes ever made, and the last floor had the newest models available to buy then and there. It was interesting to see the changes in car models over time, but even as I stared at the fancy new cars, I had no idea the hard work that went into each car.
This all changed for me today, when we went to the actual Mercedes-Benz production factory, also in Germany. The morning started off with a video explaining the entire process of making a car, all the way from designing a car to completing the final product, ready to sell. After viewing the video, we took a bus to the actual factory to see all that we were told for ourselves. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take cameras in the factory, but I know that I will remember what I saw, only because I was so amazed by it all. It was a very large factory that consisted of several small sections, and each section was responsible for the different parts of a car…and trust me, there are many, many, parts to a car. We saw there were quite a few factory workers, but even more robots and machines, all working together in unison like clockworks, focused on each detail of each part of car. As we walked along, we also saw several smaller robots, working on smaller parts of the cars.
Our guide informed us that the factory employees actually work in teams of 12, and rotate to work on different parts of the car. She also told us that the smaller robots cost about 100,000 Euros each; I didn’t dare to ask how much the larger robots cost, of which there seemed to be hundreds throughout the factory. I was surprised to learn that there are about 650 cars produced each day, and by the time we left, I was in awe and generally impressed by all the effort, time, and energy that went in to each minor detail to every car that I see and take for granted every day.
Before this experience, I never really paid attention to anything even pertaining to cars, unless it was my own; however, since coming here, my mind has expanded in a way that has inspired me to soak up as much knowledge and information as I can, about as much as I can, and to learn about things in which I never before had any interest. Coming on this trip to study abroad, I never expected to develop any sort of interest in cars, but now I look forward to learning even more about different types of cars and am eager to see what else I will gain interest in during my time studying abroad.