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Three Weeks of Production Internship

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Tags: TraineeCommunity, Careers
In the 15-month ZF Global Trainee Program, participants will become acquainted with work at ZF, rise to the challenges of a daily work routine, apply the knowledge gained during studies to successfully complete international projects and start a promising career at a highly-innovative automotive company.
Philipp Hafemann, May 04, 2018
Philipp Hafemann is from Stuttgart, Germany. He studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University and graduated in 2017.
Hi guys, this is Philipp and today I’d like to share the experiences of my production internship. As you might know, the three weeks of production internship are a fixed part of the trainee program and the German trainees decided to do it all together at the same location. However, it is not easy to determine the right location since ZF has numerous plants in Germany and each of them is unique in their own way. In the end, after considering factors like work opportunities and nightlife, we choose Passau.

Passau is not only a very beautiful city at the confluence of the three rivers Inn, Ilz and Danuble, it is also home to the headquarters of ZF’s Division for Industrial Technology.

In Passau, there are two I-Division plants and we, eight trainees from Germany, plus one from the Netherlands and one from Japan, chose to work in the assembly center in Plant 2. Over 800 assembled gearboxes, transfer cases and axles – for buses, construction machinery and agricultural machinery – leave the plant every day.
I myself worked on the assembly line for rear bus axles. On the first day, I got to know the whole assembly process by following a single axle from the start until the end of the line. Throughout the course of the rest of the internship, I tried to work on as many workstations as possible.
assembled gearboxes, transfer cases and axles leave the plant every day.

At each workstation, the colleagues were very happy about my help and integrated me very quickly. I was soon able to work independently for the whole shift on one station. After the three weeks, having worked both the early and late shifts, I was able to help at every workstation and really felt like part of the team. I think it is a very good experience for everyone to work on the line and feel what it is like to build the products that make ZF so successful.Besides the hands-on work, I very much enjoyed the exchange with the colleagues. By chatting with them, I found out that many do not know about the trainee program. Therefore, I was very happy to share the experiences that I have made as a trainee so far. We also talked about many ZF related topics and it was very interesting to bring together two different perspectives – that of young trainees, and that of experienced shop-floor workers who have known ZF for several decades.
Passau was awesome! We had an instructive three week internship, we met many new people and we explored the beautiful city.