Friday, June 20, 2014

Goodbye Budapest, Hello Vienna!

            Today was a bitter sweet day as we departed Budapest Hungary and headed to Vienna Austria. We started out the day early eating breakfast at the hotel then hopping on a charter bus to Vienna. On the bus we discussed a few cultural differences that we noticed about Hungary that differs from America. These differences include things like PDA, no personal space, somewhat trusting, trying to portray a positive outlook on things, being on time for meetings but slow service at meal time, and trying to be energy efficient to save on costs.

 On our way to Vienna we made about an hour stop at the Volkswagen Bratislava plant in Slovakia.  While at the Volkswagen plant we learned about their production systems and we took a tour of the factory. The first thing the informed us of was that we weren’t allowed to take any pictures so all we have is a few pictures from outside the plant. The plant located in Bratislava is approximately the size of 160 football fields. They have their own medical center and fire department on site. At this plant they produce six different models of cars and five different brands. Some of these include Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche. They are able to produce up to 2,100 cars per day since it is running 24 hours a day for about six days a week. They produce the SUV’s 6 days a week and small family cars only 5 days a week. Something I found interesting was that they only make what is ordered because they do not have anything in storage for more than a couple days at any one time. As soon as the parts are pressed out of raw materials in one side of the factory they are loaded into a cart and transferred to the production line within 24 hours. This allows them to produce around 440,000 cars per year. Most of the jobs that workers play a role in is simply transferring materials from shop to shop and delivering parts to the systems and then robots do the majority of the work. Employees do take a little part in inspections and if it is a minor flaw it is simply fixed, but if it is a big flaw then they recycle the car for parts. Approximately 1 car per day comes back that needs fixed. They have their workers on shifts that overlap so that the machines do not have much downtime with their being three 8hour shifts. In these 8 hour shifts each employee gets one 25 minute break and one 15 minute break. Along with that about 7.5% of workers are women. For some other cars they produce a lot of the hull of the cars and send them off to Germany to be finished with the insides. Below is a picture of a lift transporting a car outside to a test track

After leaving the Volkswagen plant we traveled into the city of Bratislava to have lunch before heading on to Vienna. A group of us ate at the 17’s Bar where they serve the best tasting burgers that I have had in a long time. Then we did a little souvenir shopping before getting back on the bus. It took a little less than 2 more hours to get the rest of the way to Vienna where we checked into the hotel. We then said goodbye to Szilvia and hello to our new tour guide Manuela.  After checking in we had an orientation to get our transportation passes and a little information on the city and then a couple hours of free time before dinner. I personally went with a few people to find an ATM and we also stopped into the local Aldi’s to see what it looked like and get some snack like foods that would travel easily for cheap. Then I was able to come back to the hotel and get a short nap in before dinner.  

For dinner we went to Wiener Wirtschaft where they served us 3 courses. The first course was cream of asparagus soup, followed by the second course of Viennese style boiled beef, potatoes, and root vegetables, and ending with the third course shown below of homemade apple strudel with a vanilla cream sauce. The food was delicious!

After we were done with dinner we went to the fair/amusement park as a group. Some looked around, some rode rides, I went with Stephanie, and Ashley C. to ride the World’s Oldest Farris wheel. Here are some pictures of the view.


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