Day 9 – Wärtsilä and Bühler

Exhausted from our late arrival at the Bund Riverside Hotel in Shanghai yesterday, we started into another interesting day by heading with the train to Wuxi. By watching out of the window, we saw the suburbs and the housings of the working class passing by, which made the dimensions of the city even clearer and visible.

Arriving in Wuxi we were welcomed by Ms. Olivia Zhue, which is the personal assistant of Mr. Jan Bremer, Managing Director of the Wärtsilä assembly plant in Wuxi. The company headquartered in Helsinki is a leading supplier of lifecycle power solution for the marine and energy market. Facing a strong competition with Rolls Royce and Schottel, Wärtsilä is forced to be the customer’s first choice. Hence, Jan Bremer highlighted the importance of quality in this industry. This relevant issue was the reason for his settlement in China. After several years within the same company and work experience in Asia (Korea, Japan, China) he tackled the challenge to bring Wärtsilä in Wuxi back on the right track. After the introduction and company presentation he showed us around the factory. He explained us the different steps in their assembly process needed to produce high quality products.

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After a delicious meal at Wärtsilä we the group went over to the Swiss company Bühler which is located just around the corner. The dimension of the Bühler production plant was far bigger than the one visited before. After the greeting procedure, Claudio Ruch and Fi Fong gave a presentation about the innovation in emerging markets and the working life in China respectively. The main finding in regard to innovation was that trends in China need to be considered also outside of the country and that they may have an impact all over the world. Both speakers encouraged the students to at least think about facing the challenge of working in China.

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After loads of impressions, we faded away the day on a relaxed boat tour on the Grand Canal in Wuxi organised by Wärtsilä.

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