For our company visit at Boawu Steel, we had to wake up a bit earlier than yesterday. The day started as usual, with a good breakfast at the 25th floor of our hotel. After breakfast, we got in the bus to travel to Boawu Steel, which is the biggest steel producer in China. But, as today was the first day in Shanghai we did not experience any traffic jams, we arrived a bit early. The day started with a warm welcome by Ms. Yu, some coffee and tea, and a short break.
When the time was right, we got into the bus to go to one of the production facilities of Boawu steel. This was a huge terrain of about 20km2, so it took a while before we arrived at the raw materials handling docks. At these docks, the ships containing the required raw materials arrive, and their cargo gets automatically unloaded and transported to the correct locations. However, as today was a very foggy day, we were unable to see the production facilities from the docks.
After this foggy but impressive visit, we went to the blast furnace where the raw materials where processed into rolls of steel. Some students have read theory on this process, and now where able to experience it in practice. During the visit, we could feel the heat of the molten steel, even though the distance between us and the molten steel was around 30 meters. It was very impressive to observe the machines, and the pace of the process. In a matter of minutes, a molten bar of steel was processed into a big roll of steel. All these impressions we had a delicious meal at the restaurant of the management institute of Boawu steel.
After the typically Chinese lunch, it was time for us to ask some questions to six managers of Boawu steel. First, we saw a short video about Baowu steel with some impressive facts. From this film, it followed how big Baowu Steel is really is.
The discussion sessions started with some introduction talks given by Ms. Yu from Baosteel and Tim van Benthem from the study tour. During the interview, it was possible to ask all our questions to the managers, which were specified in different fields. Therefore, we had the opportunity to ask all questions related to logistics, marketing, planning and of course research & development. We got interesting answers and other insights in the daily business of Baowu steel which will contribute to our research. The day ended with a nice group picture at the management institute with all people that made it possible to organize this informative day.