Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since my last post. This time I am going to share a very exciting update about our latest event – our study tour in Bilbao.
We had a four day tour in Bilbao, Spain, from 19th to 22nd April. Though a very short stay, everyone enjoyed it and learnt so much that we often talk about all the wonderful times in Bilbao. Let’s get on with the story…
Well , it was a little bit challenging to take the coach setting off at 3am in the early morning, however 32 members (30 students and 2 supervisors from faculty) showed up on time with happy faces.
3am in the morning, there we go!
The whole itinerary was very tightly scheduled – we started our first visit immediately after a short rest in the hotel. By the way, the hotel was really well located with good views and a tasty breakfast.
Breakfast-Chorizo is necessity
19th April – first destination, Orbea
Orbea is a bicycle manufacturer in Mallabia, Basque Country. It began in 1840 as a rifle and gun producer and began making bicycles in the 1930’s. As Spain’s largest bicycle manufacturer, Orbea designs and builds bicycles – with some of the higher cost bikes being made in Portugal, all the others are made at the Orbea factory in Mallabia. What impresses us most is their idea of customisation as they offer a wide range of options for components with different colours and painting options. They also allocate a dedicated team to assemble for each order, and keep their customer well informed of the assembling progress which gets them involved in the process.
Orbea presentation and factory vist
20th April – second day, Eroski & Winery
Eroski is a Spanish supermarket chain with nearly 1,000 outlets spread across Spain (excluding franchises). The company was founded in 1969 in the regions of Biscay and Gipuzkoa in Spain as a co-operative between ten supermarkets in the region. Its headquarters are located in Elorrio, Biscay, where we visited their automatic warehouse. Covering all the equipment like conveyors, miniloads, rackings and typical processes from receiving, storage, picking, sorting and dispatching, the warehouse visit consolidates our knowledge from the warehouse module of our course.
In the afternoon, we had the exciting winery visit and a delicious Basque lunch with wine testing as well.
Winery Visiting and wine testing
21st April – third day, CAF & San Sebastian sightseeing
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) (literally “Construction & Auxiliary of Railways”) is a Spanish private company which manufactures railway vehicles and equipment. It is based in Beasain in the Basque Country where we visited. Equipment manufactured by CAF includes light rail vehicles, rapid transit trains, railroad cars and locomotives, as well as variable gauge axles that can be fitted on any existing truck or bogie.
We spent more than 2 hours walking through the factory to get to know the manufacturing process from material cutting and welding to assembly. Because of the strict requirements of company management, we couldn’t take any pics during visit. However, we were very impressed by the overall process through which the bogies are manufactured from raw materials to finished products.
In the afternoon, we went to a beautiful city, San Sebastian – a city known for one of the best in-city beaches in Europe. Definitely a feast for the eyes with the nice view and peaceful atmosphere!
Having fun on the beach
22nd April – last day, Zallo canned goods
Good times always elapse too quickly. The last day we came to a food company called Zallo – a traditional canned goods company offering the best products since 1926. Due to the high standard of health, all of us got issued with special work clothes before we entered. The process of making canned food was very new to us that we only had a general idea of how canned tuna was made from washing, boiling, deboning and storage. Then testing time began!
Just one last ‘dance’ in Spain
Above is a rough description about our tour in Bilbao. Hope you enjoyed reading it!