My internship at iwis in Shanghai showed me, how a company set up a new plant in a foreign country and which problems may occur caused by the local conditions. During the four weeks I was in Shanghai, I dealt with these problems, but had also the opportunity to get to know a mega-city with 23 million inhabitants, that tries to find a middle-way between the continuous globalisation and their Chinese culture.
I arrived at our apartement at the German Center in Shanghai on 30th of June. My colleague Bendikt Morlock and I started to work the next day, as the shuttle picked us up at 8:15 am. After a short introduction of all departments by the general manager Mr. Chu, we started to work at the department for external quality insurance.
The departments‘ task is to keep sure, that the quality of parts delivered by the supplier and the products sent to the customer are always ok. In case of any problems with parts, the external quality talks with suppliers or customers and set up a plan to avoid these in the future. For the next two weeks, Mr. Zhu, the head of the department, explained us, what instructions have to be followed, when a customer complains and which systems keep sure, that suppliers will change their instructions for producing the necessary parts according to expectations of iwis. We thought about the processes, the machines and the materials, which suppliers might use to produce their goods and what errors can occur in the single processes. We also translated instructions for suppliers from German into English and even set up an own instruction for sorting ok parts form nok (not-ok) parts.
The following week, we worked at the financial department. My task there was it, to prepare the bills from the last year for archiving, as all bills paid by the company have to be stored for at least 15 years. I printed out cover sheets, so bills can be identified easily later on, while Benedikt worked with Excel-sheets.
The internal quality department was the most interesting part of our internship. We passed our last week there, until we returned to Germany on the 30th of July. The internal quality checks different attributes, like diameter, hardness and dimensions of incoming parts. Therefore, the department is equipped with different measurement systems, which we were introduced in. Our task was it, to rework chain tensioners. The humid climate made the pistons became rusty, so we had to replace them with new ones.
The work at company was very interesting as we could visit different departments and our colleagues explained lots of the processes at the company, but also about Chinese life.
In the weekends we visited the touristic sites of Shanghai. We were at the financial centre of Shanghai, the only twenty years old district Pudong, with the over 400 meter high skyscrapers, the Financial Tower, which looks like a bottle-opener, and the Jin-Mao-Building. We also took a ride up to the top floor of the Finacial Tower at night, from where we had a great view to the downtown of Shanghai, the promenade along the Huangpu River, the so called Bund, and the famous Oriental-Pearl-TV-Tower.
We didn’t miss to stay at all at five Buddhist temples in and around Shanghai. Each of them had its own style and even most of them were destroyed under the regime of Mao, they managed to rebuild them in a realistic way. On the last Friday of our stay, the power for the plant was shut down, so, as we couldn’t work, we decided to go to Hangzhou with the bullet train. Hangzhou is round 200km away from Shanghai, but with the 350kmph fast train it took us only one hour to get there. The city is located next to a big lake and has the greatest temple we saw. The area around the temple is very hilly and religious presentations are cut into the stones of the mountains. The temple itself consist of more than twenty buildings with huge statues of the different gods and one building with 500 different bronze Buddhas.
On a Sunday, two of our colleagues from the personal management, Olivia and Joyce took us on a trip to a former aristocratic garden and Zhujiajiao, an old town with canals one hour away from Shanghai. We enjoyed typical Chinese food there as well as the ancient houses along the small canals.
I quite enjoyed the time in Shanghai and have to thank Alex Teichert, Mr. Chu, Olivia, Joyce, Vikky and all the other employees from iwis Shanghai, as well as Oskar Eichler and Robin for the great time they spent with us and the opportunities they gave us. After four weeks we took the magnet train back to the airport and flew back to Germany with a luggage full of souvenirs and a mind full of impressions and experiences.