|Paul Boven, Emmy Boerma & Stefan Wijnholds
| On November 3, about 60 members of the ASTRON/JIVE personnel club (PV) had a day out.
First stop: the Fraeylemaborg in Slochteren. After having coffee in one of the former stables and taking a group picture (see above), we had an interesting tour of the borg, with emphasis on its 700-year history. Sadly, we had to leave all too soon in order to make it in time to our second stop: the Volkswagen assembly plant in Emden. There, we were impressed by the logistics of this plant. We had our first experience with German efficiency in the canteen, where just two people managed to serve a lunch plate to the entire group within seconds.
At 13:15 sharp, we were welcomed in a hall for a short presentation on the Volkswagen group before embarking on a 2-hour tour of (only part of!) the facilities. It turns out that making cars still involves a lot of hand-work, in which quite a number of women take part. Above all, we were amazed with the exquisite timing between the separate assembly lines (for body, dashboard, engine and suspension, etc.). The latter always seemed to deliver the necessary parts just in time (JIT) to be merged into a single car, according to the customers' specifications. Unfortunately, we did not visit the end of the assembly line to see the new cars coming out of the plant.
This intense and interesting day was concluded in the excellent steakhouse in Zeegse.
|Paul Boven / PV