(Lucas van den Bosch)

Shanghai at Night - View from the Jinmao TowerTogether with my colleague Elias Hoffmann I was allowed to have my internship in one of the most magnificent cities of the world: Shanghai. We were invited to work at iwis motorsystems from July 1st to July 30th, a timespan which will be remembered by me due to the immense amounts of new impressions. We tried interesting food, rode high speed trains up to 300 km/h, spent evenings in gardens, spent hours walking in the city center in rushhour, visited gigantic museums, and, of course, did some work at the iwis plant. It was a wonderful time in my life.

At iwis motorsystems, the employees gave us an introduction to the whole plant including the warehouse system and production line. Until the full chain assembly line is ready which is planned to happen in 2014, the production line is used for chain tensioners. We were taught how to pack up the chain tensioners so no dust remains there.

The most time-consuming task which was given to us was the design of a new example suitcase for the General Manager. This suitcase is used to present new production parts to potential customers. Our task mainly covered the design of the foam padding which is used to hold each of the parts firmly in place. I used 3ds max, a 3D design software, to experiment with different layouts and parallel to this, Elias measured every part and tried different layout options himself.

Over two weeks, we presented several designs to the General Manager and received feedback and further requests about including new parts. We also had to purchase a new suitcase as the old one was damaged. As we finished our final design optimised for the use of a specific suitcase, we spoke to the Purchasing Manager to contact the foam supplier. At this stage, some problems occured as the supplier needed CAD-files which I wasn’t able to generate. These problems were the reason we couldn’t finish this task.

Besides the work at the plant Elias and myself also visited Shanghai and near other cities. One of my personal highlights was the view from the Jinmao tower over the whole city at night. Not only the panorama was mesmerizing, but also the tower itself had a speciality: It’s the highest hotel in the world. We were able to look from the top of the tower right down to the lobby as the upper 50 stories of the tower are hollow inside, enabling tourists and hotel guests an unique experience.

One day trip together with one iwis employee has shown us more traditional aspects of the chinese culture, including food of all possible shapes and tastes. The narrow rivers which were populated by small boats reminded me of Venice in Italy.

The final experience which is one of my favourites as well was the ride in the Maglev Transrapid from Shanghai Centre to the Pudong Airport where the plane back to munich was waiting for us. The Maglev train travelled at 300 km/h top speed in extreme curves through the landscape. Luckily, all of the curves were slanted so we were only pressed down into our seats.