Friday, July 12, 2013

A Boys Day

Today...the BMW factory tour. Dan took every precaution to make sure we were there on time--padding the start time by 30 min and giving plenty of cushion for our subway ride over. We made it there an hour early!
BMW World (yes, it's really called that) had new and prototype models on display that you could sit in. (Im having a hard time coming up with adjectives to describe how exciting it was for Dan and the boys. To me it was "sitting in" a car. To them it was thrilling.)
We knew the boys were loving it because everything was exciting. "Look, a future prototype!" "Look, a 6 series! Wait, is that the new 4 series?" "Look, there are the cars customers are picking up today!" "Look how strong that upper deck is to support those 5 cars!" At this point Courtney muttered under her breath to me, "yep, just like a regular parking garage does."
It was really cool when a motorcycle stunt guy drove a BMW motorcycle up several flights of stairs and down again.
Finally, it was time for our three-hour tour.
The efficiency of the factory was impressive and it was cool to see the precision of the robots in action. They turn out 900 cars a day. The manpower intensive areas work on two 8-hour shift schedules. But the areas with robots are processing 24 hours a day.
Everything not used gets recycled, including the paint overspray (which is minimal but falls into a flowing water bath below the cars. The mixture flows somewhere, somehow and the paint, which is heavier than the water, is collected and then used in floor mats.)
They are down to only 30 grams of waste per car. That's the equivalent of about 30 paper clips.
After the tour we had lunch in the cafe on site and then had about 30 min. to tour the BMW museum across the street.
And then it was time to jump back on the subway towards the event the boys had been looking forward to the most and been talking about for months... Despicable Me 2. We had previously found a cinema showing original format movies (meaning they were in English). Even had popcorn -- choose salt or sugar. Sugar, please.
After some down time at the hotel, we had dinner across the street at Taco Libre. Almost as good as Cafe Rio. By the way, the guy who came to set up the rollaway bed in our hotel room was from Spain and just learning German. Dan was so happy to have a chance to use his Spanish.
As you can imagine, we are getting a lot of mileage out of the following German word we've seen a lot.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Chris, I'm with you. I always get a good giggle from the exit signs in Germany. Ausfahrt is definitely my favorite German word.