Plastics students visit Denmark

Guest Post by Molly Joyce, senior Plastics Engineering Technology major

Day 4 Sunday, October 21, 2018

The fourth day was a day that the students became experts in public transportation in Copenhagen. Not really, but a couple of us did successfully use the bus and subway a few times. This sounds like a simple task, but most of use are from rural areas back home without public transportation systems, and it was in a different language. We had some bumps along the way; we may have jumped on the right bus but it was going in the wrong direction, but we still arrived at our destination, and we (or I) considered it a successful feat. All of us, both students and professors, ended up climbing the Church of our Savior at one point or another. This meant climbing up very steep steps in cramped areas for about 20 minutes until you got to see an unforgettable view of the city. Another group of students learned the laws of the road for bicycles and biked to the Copenhagen zoo. In the afternoon, we took a train ride from Copenhagen to Fredericia. This gave us the opportunity to see a little bit of Denmark’s country side. Our hostel had a view of a pond and a “little” village.

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Day 5 Monday, October 22, 2018

LEGO day! Today, after a quick train and bus ride we arrived at LEGO headquarters. Usually, Mr. Meckley does a great job at transportation and getting us places. However, today was not his best day. I will give him that the building was under construction. Nonetheless, we walked in very cold weather for a bit. But we did find it after some touring of the city of Billund. It was amazing to see the LEGO factories surrounded by cow pastures. Our tour started with a quick history of the company LEGO, where we learned that it started as a wooden toy company by a carpenter. We learned about LEGO’s motto of ‘Learn through play’. They gave each of us a bag of six LEGOs. Then, they started the clock and told us we have 45 seconds to create a duck with these six pieces. It was interesting to see some of the different designs, some resembled a duck, one resembled a platypus, and we’re not really sure what Mr. Meckley was going for in his. Next, we got to tour the evolution of LEGO throughout the years. We met a design engineer that explained product development to us. It was neat to hear his story. He wanted to be a LEGO engineer since he was little, and emailed LEGO to ask about how to become one. They responded with a list of qualifications for the job title but could not guarantee a job at the end. Well, he completed those qualifications and ended up getting a job with them as soon as he graduated. It was clear to see that the employees at LEGO are passionate about what they do and the message they convey. Afterwards, we had lunch at their cafeteria, which made me want to be a LEGO employee, so I could eat their food every day because it was delicious. We then took a tour of one of the buildings. One building had 64 injection molding machines, and there were 12 buildings. That’s 768 injection molding machines!! The process they have for the LEGOs is efficient and minimizes human error. There are robots that take the parts from the press to the conveyor belt on the other end of the room. From there, we took another bus and train back to Copenhagen for our last night there. This was a night that the students had to book their own hostels so we all went our separate ways.

Day 6 Tuesday, October 23, 2018  

Today was a tour of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). We had two awesome PHD students named Macerana and Sebastian to give us a tour and tell us what they do. They served some of the best pastries I’ve ever had at breakfast. The program we were learning about was Additive Manufacturing (AM), and they told us about their projects and gave us a tour of the lab. They are trying to make innovations in their fields, so they can share their knowledge in this topic. It was really neat to see they strongly believe that we need collaboration across universities and companies in order to expand our knowledge on areas in this field. Sebastian’s project was building a mock machine of one that already exists so he can modify it and see if it is replicable.

Follow Plastics Engineering Technology Students through Denmark & Sweden — Travel Log #1

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No matter how vivid the photos or descriptive the lecture, there’s nothing quite like seeing and experiencing another country in person. And, in today’s increasingly global business climate, it’s vital that students be versed in the culture and business practices of international partners. There is much to be learned from seeing how others do it. That’s why, every year, students in the Plastics Engineering Technology program have the opportunity to travel overseas to visit plastics companies and universities and attend a plastics trade show, too.

Right now, eleven students are at the tail end of a ten-day trip to Sweden and Denmark.

We asked them to send us some updates and photos so we could all learn from their journey.

Day 1- Thursday, October 15th

Today was our departure date. We left Behrend in a bus and headed to the Toronto airport to board the plane to Copenhagen. We were all anxiously awaiting departure!

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Day 2- Friday, October 16th

We arrived in Copenhagen at approximately 10:00 a.m. and made our way to our hostel. After dropping off our things at the hostel, we went our separate ways to explore the city. One group toured the Christianborg Palace and visited Tivoli Gardens-the oldest amusement park in Europe. Other groups climbed local towers to see the city from above. This was our first experience communicating with other cultures and through other languages.

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Day 3- Saturday, October 17th

Our second day in Copenhagen was more eventful, as we taught ourselves how to use the bus and train systems. We were able to travel across the city more efficiently to see more distant attractions. Some of these attractions included the Rosenborg Palace, Kastellet Fort, and also the Little Mermaid statue.

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Day 4- Sunday, October 18th

The last day in Copenhagen we were able to catch a few more attractions, such as the Marble Church and the picturesque town of Nyhavn. In the evening, we boarded a train to Vejen, and we arrived at our hostel late that night.

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Day 5 – Monday, October 19th

On Monday, we woke up and caught the bus to Billund for a tour of the LEGO facility. The manufacturing facility was very innovative and automated, which was very interesting to see. We learned about their history, business model, company values, and processing techniques. We departed LEGO in the early afternoon and headed back to Copenhagen for the night. At this point, we went our separate ways to the hostels that each group of students had booked on their own. It was a great experience maneuvering through the city with our luggage and trying to find our hostel on our own.

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Day 6 – Tuesday, October 20th

Tuesday we visited the Danish Technical University (DTU), just outside of Copenhagen. They had incredible research facilities and free 3D printing for any university student. The university was very project oriented and encouraged all students to go “beyond state of the art.” You could tell from their work that the students were very passionate and had put time and effort into their projects to make creative ideas come to life. Afterwards, the group boarded another train to Goteborg, Sweden, where we found our hostel for the night.

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Day 7 – Wednesday, October 21st

We woke up in Goteborg bright and early to make our way to the Scan Pack Packaging Trade Show. Students spent hours visiting the various booths and displays from packing companies from around the world. Some highlights included a juggling robot; collapsible, reusable, and more environmentally friendly material gaylords; biodegradable packaging; and various forms of filling equipment for assembly lines.

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To be continued….