Our day started off at 10:00, where we started looking at their processes of ensuring they have a skilled workforce who can cover various aspects that ZF Services deal with. We looked at car gearboxes, military gearboxes, marine gearboxes and commercial gearboxes in one part of their facility. There are a lot of processes that need to happen to ensure there is accountability throughout, in case there is a failure or warranty claim. This helps the mechanic/technician who might be attempting to diagnose a fault half way across the world to go step and step to work out where the fault may lie.
Throughout the day, we had the opportunity to ask lots of questions in order to understand more about how everything works. The next part of their facility contained more stations to work on their car products and we then moved onto their dedicated rail facility. This has just been expanded with additional cranes so they can take on more work, with the ever increasing rail industry. The size and weight of these products are phenomenal! We then moved onto their third facility which works on an upcoming market, wind turbines. This section is quite special as it's logistical process works quite differently to the other sections.
Finally, we looked at the car steering wheel section, where the customer works in conjunction and has a dedicated area to meet their needs within the ZF facility. This was the final stage of the tour, which we completed with questions at 12:30.
Overall, this gave us an insight into a company which mainly deals with B2B (which most people overlook as they cannot find any way of associating with them) and has a lot to offer their employees and potential engineers who are interested in working for them.
|Picture taken: ZF Facilities, Thursday 23rd January 2014|
Rudy Birkner (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Abdi Hussein (Loughborough University, UK), Huzaifa Essajee (UAA LCC) and Florian Scheidegger (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)