17 April, 2010

An American in Düsseldorf

As a soundtrack to this post, please play this video:

This past Thursday I awoke at the inhuman hour of 3:30am in order to catch a bus to Düsseldorf. Well, it was definitely worth the trouble. I was going to Düssledorf in the first place because WAFIOS AG, the company I'm interning at, had a large display at a technical trade show last week. The bus ride and entrance price was sponsored by the company (thank you WAFIOS!).

Everyone has been talking about this trade show basically non-stop since I started working there, so I was really glad to be able to go and see what all of the hype was about. There was something like 1500 exhibitors from the wire and tube industries which includes companies that actually make the wire and tube, companies that make machines that make the wire and tube, companies like WAFIOS that make machines that produce things out of wire and tube and companies that provide special solutions in all of those fields. It was a big show. A lot of the companies were putting a lot of store in it too because of the state of the economy.

In September 2009 I attended the IAA (International Auto Show) in Frankfurt which was a consumer show so all of the displays there were designed for accessibility and  to make their products look really good. Well the wire and Tube was an industrial trade show so most of the displays were designed around meeting areas for customers and representatives. Pretty much every booth had a bar and a Kantine (cafeteria area) where customers were entertained. Some of them were two storied. For some pictures take a look at this slideshow.

(Oh, that beer was a special Düsseldorf Alt Bier. I sampled it on request of my dad who is an avid homebrewer.)

I was very impressed by the WAFIOS booth(s). They had one of the most diverse range of machines on display. A lot of the other companies were specialized in one type of machine, for example, machines for making springs. But WAFIOS had those types of machines in various sizes in addition to machines for bending wire, for making nails, for bending tube and if you include Böhm, a partner company, machines for drawing and finishing wire. I was very proud to be a part of a company with such a large market presence.

On the way home, we watched Up, in German, and I just barely made the last bus from the city center to my dorm at 11:30pm. So, it was a very long day, but also very rewarding. And luckily, I had the day off on Friday, so I could sleep in for as long as I wanted.

In other news, I've been enjoying working in the Lehrwerkstatt where WAFIOS trains all of its apprentices. This week I was in the Electrician room and practiced soldering and some circuit fundamentals. I learned a lot of new words like Lötkolben and Sterndreieck mit Wendebetrieb. I'm not entirely sure how to translate that second one, but it has something to do with a circuit used in operating an electric motor...star-delta with something.

I finally uploaded the rest of the pictures I've taken this year. Feel free to browse them at your leisure.

Thanks for reading.

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