We had to start a little bit earlier this Friday then we were used to, because we had a long drive to the North of Shanghai. On our agenda were two visits to plants of the Rainbow Group. They manufacture machinery for lifting the heavy containers in the ports, even the ones in Rotterdam which we have seen a few weeks ago!
After a presentation about the company, we got a tour around their assembly area of cranes from Ben Laan, a Dutchman who is the project director. He shared with us his experiences of working for more than ten years in China.
After a good lunch with some employees of the company, we went across the Yangtze River to visit Rainbow Heavy Machinery (RHM) in Nantong. RHM is a company that produces the steel parts for the cranes and vehicles that process the containers at the Maasvlakte II in the harbour of Rotterdam. Here we saw the whole journey from steel plates to finished painted parts. During the operations tour we had opportunities to ask questions for our research. It was interesting to hear the challenges that Ben Laan faces when leading projects like building a crane for the port of Rotterdam.
On our drive back, we experienced the Friday afternoon rush hour of workers traveling back to their homes in the city. In the evening, we went to a Vietnamese restaurant on invitation of Eddie Viskaal and Irene Dai from BE China Forging, where we had delicious dinner together. During dinner, we shared interesting and funny stories about our experience in China so far. Also, we celebrated the that the first week of the study tour was successful!