Hi again! I’ve been up to a lot since my last entry. I’ve had some great times with the friends I’ve made here in Munich. It was really hard for me when I first came here because I didn’t know anyone and I couldn’t speak any German. Now I’m actually speaking a bit but my German’s still terrible. However, there’re actually quite a few people here I can speak English with. MTU takes interns from literally everywhere. There’s actually two other Americans here and we’ve been hanging out with two Canadian interns (sort of an English-speaking club?). It’s really great to be meeting people from all over the world. There’re quite a few interns here from France, one I’ve met from Switzerland, another from Austria, and of course a lot from Germany (but northern Germany too, which is like a completely different place). It’s surprising how many of them speak English (which is bad, because I can’t practice German). Even most of the engineers in my building speak English really well…but they keep trying to get me to speak German with them. (Actually they’re teaching me Bayrisch, which is the southern German accent – imagine German with everything shortened and rougher sounding). This weekend some of the other interns and I learned how to make crepes from one of the Canadian interns (Or rather crepe roll-ups as we called them, to the (mock) ire of our Canadian co-worker) and I learned the great value of real Canadian maple syrup (from a can…?!). It’s great I have a lot of friends here now.
At MTU the audit from Pratt and Whitney went well. I had put together the presentation from the material that Pratt had given us, but the inspector had so many questions that it took us two hours to get through it. The language barrier was a bit difficult. My boss and the engineers who were at the meeting speak English pretty well, but there were some expressions that they just didn’t quite get the meaning of. It’s the same for me with German, and worse here in Munich because southern Germany has its own dialect altogether. The day after the initial presentation my boss took the inspector around the factory and showed him all the operating procedures MTU goes through to verify the programs in the controller machines that create the engine components. I had a few more CAD conversions to do (converting the old CATIA drawings to UniGraphics, the program MTU uses now) and I finished up the correlation analysis I was doing on the tolerance values of the parts being made in Poland. Last week my boss was at the factory in Poland conferring with the engineers there. The dimensions of the pre-turned (the step in the machining process prior to the final part) test parts that they’d been making were varying too much from what they should have been (aka they were outside of set tolerances) so they had to figure out a solution. A compromise was reached though, where Poland could deviate slightly out of tolerance, and had to increase material on some areas so that the minimum dimensions of the part could be maintained. And the parts will have to pass inspection in both Poland and Munich to ensure quality. I’m sure a lot of these problems will be worked out eventually. Poland only just started operations a year ago. Complete compatibility with the Munich headquarters will take time, but that’s fine as long as the quality of parts doesn’t suffer.
This week I’m so excited! I have 15 days of vacation that I get with this internship so I planned a few trips, and one is coming up later in the week. I leave on an overnight train Wednesday night for Paris! I’ll be there until next Tuesday, so I’ll definitely have a lot of great pictures for the next entry. For now though, these are just some more from Munich…the statue and the plaza are in Theresienwiese, which is where Oktoberfest takes place every year. The statue is actually the “Bavaria Statue.” Southern Germany was actually the kingdom of Bavaria before it became part of Germany, so there’s a whole slew of culture and history here that’s completely unique to the area. The yellow building is the palace at Dachau, which is really close to MTU and which I finally got to see the inside of last week (the first time I went it was closed). Then another picture in the gardens of Nymphenburg palace, and the one in the cave is from the Deutches Museum. They have a massive exhibit on underground mining, and it is literally a giant fake cave…it goes on for quite a while too. I definitely need to go back there, there’s way too much to see… Anyways though, til next time!