Application: Project Managers of Insight China 2018

Fellow students! Are you a disciplined and persistent person seeking an opportunity to challenge your managing skills?

Apply as a project manager for one of the most prestigious student projects of the FHNW – Insight China, Focus India, connectUS or exploreASEAN ! The deadline for the application is the 19 of May 2017!

A unique opportunity to grow and progress lies ahead of you!

You can find all the application information here!

Well Connected with our Silver Sponsor Brugg Cables

by Patrick Lüscher

After visiting Brugg Cables in Switzerland on February 15, it was really interesting to visit the company’s production sites in China and thus in a different perspective.

At first, we were received by Urs Schnell, the CEO of the Brugg Group and Brugg Cable Systems. He introduced us to the Brugg Group in general and their engagement in China. They employ 2000 people in 20 countries and approximately 180 of them in China. The next presentation was about Brugg Ropes. Amongst other products they produce ropes for elevators, and as 60% of the world’s elevator market is in China, the main factory lies in Suzhou. The Rope division of Brugg has 37 employees in Suzhou and produces over 12’000km of cables per year. One of the buildings, which Brugg Ropes equipped with their products, is the very famous Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai. The next part was a presentation about Brugg Cables China. Their 90 employees produce and test accessory for high voltage cables.

After all those presentations, we got the chance to have a look at the production sites. We got a tour through the cable factory and visited the high voltage accessory production and testing. Then we went back to the presentation room and got a short introduction to the Suhner Group. They are the biggest shareholder of the Brugg Group and work together very closely. In the next part, we got an insight to the new generation of lifting cables produced at Brugg. The Gen2-cables are coated with plastic (TPU) to receive a smaller bending radius and therefore save energy. Another improvement are belts, which are much lighter than cables and allow the elevators to cover a longer route in one step.

The last part of the visit was another tour through the factory. At Suhner we visited parts of the Transmission division, where they produce flexible shafts. Next, we got the opportunity to see how the belts are made. To finish the whole day, we had dinner in a great restaurant by the lake together with Urs Schnell and three other managing directors.

From Pasta to Rice Noodles – Visiting our Platinum Sponsor Bühler AG

By Yannick Godat

Time flies by very quickly and unfortunately, we already reached the last day of company visits. Today’s targets were this year’s sponsors Bühler AG and Brugg Cables.

The day started with a bus tour from Suzhou to Wuxi which took us about one hour. As soon as we arrived at our destination, we were warmly welcomed by the Head of Business Development Mr Jürgen Simon. Bühler AG is a traditional family owned business which exists already since more than 150 years and is active in over 140 countries. The company is market leader in processing grains, rice, cocoa and many other raw materials. Further, Bühler AG has a leading position in providing solutions of die-casting and surface-coating technologies.

Our visit was split into 4 parts. It all started with a short presentation about the company, its technologies and their products. Bühler AG interestingly follows the philosophy “Innovation for a better world” which reflects their corporate investment in sustainable production. The second part of our visit was a tour through the company’s facility. We had the chance to see many different areas such as the foundry, training center as well as the assembly line. Especially the training center was impressive. We saw many different machines such as a packing machine for Ferrero Rocher or the 4-level-miling-machine for which Bühler AG is well known all over the world. Then, the delegation had the chance to ask all questions which were left after the presentation and the tour in the third part of our visit. Not only Mr Jürgen was answering our questions, he invited also several experts from different sectors such as the head of HR at the headquarter or the head of commercials in China. The fourth and final part of our visit was a joint lunch with Bühler AG. We had the unique opportunity to enjoy a delicious noodle soup and some other dishes while networking with the experts of Bühler AG.

Thanks to Bühler AG the delegation of Insight China could enjoy a very interesting and informative morning.


Promoting Relationships between Switzerland and China – Our Visit at Swissnex Shanghai

By Melina Schenkel

After our visit at ABB Robotics, we were welcomed by Swissnex at its office in Shanghai. Isabel Götz, Head of Operations, General Manager Swissnex China, ad interim gave us an overview about the daily business of the Swissnex – it is connecting China and Switzerland regarding science, education, art and innovation. In general, Swissnex China is an initiative of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), managed in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs. A main part of Swissnex is to promote Switzerland as itself and as an innovative country. However, the Swissnex does also additional tasks such as the promotion of Swiss Universities, welcoming Summer schools and delegations, leading ventures or the development of e-learning tools.

Afterwards we got an insight about the Swiss Business Hub in China. The topics were demographic shift, declining labour force and rising labour costs. China is facing the same demographic shift as Switzerland – nowadays, there are more elderly people than from the younger generation. Therefore, there will be less people who work and are able to support the old population. This is a big issue and China is struggling tremendously with solving this topic.

The third speech on this afternoon were held by PH.D. Lu Yung-Pi under the topic “Social Enterprise and Young Entrepreneurship in Mainland China”. First, we analysed how the topics ‘social’ and ‘enterprise’ fits together: Instead of focusing only on financial rewards, Social Enterprises want to create some value for the society. Nevertheless, in China it is not as easy as in Switzerland to start your own social business. One point, for example, is that you must receive a certificate to show that you are allowed to collect founds. However, some successful founder were, for example, a reporter which invented a system to rent bikes (Mobike) or an architect which makes the life of the people in the Hutong districts more comfortable.

We learned the young entrepreneurs in China mix eastern and western styles: the way of working is done the western way but the way of thinking remains eastern way. This means that Chinese Entrepreneurs often copy the ideas and knowledge from the wester and adapt it to their needs.

Digital Solutions – Company Visit at ABB Robotics

By Josua Stierli

Today we had two more company visits around Shanghai. After a fantastic breakfast in our hotel, which is located directly in the centre of Shanghai, we travelled with the bus to ABB Robotics.

First Stephan Schaerer, Local Business Unit CFO at ABB Robotics China, gave us an overview of the company, the products of ABB Robotics and the different applications. The company is part of the ABB Group with its headquarter in Zurich. ABB was an early bird in the Chinese market and is now the market leader for robots in China. Furthermore, ABB has installed over 50’000 robots in China and more than 300’000 globally. The market in China is growing fast because salaries are rising and manual work is getting more and more expensive. The company provides a wide range of robots and robotic solutions to the industry. It manages a full portfolio from naked robots, peripheral equipment, module cells, software, to service and training. ABB is the world’s only robotics company to provide complete solutions for main production steps of car manufacturing. Around 80 per cent of the production at ABB Robotics in China is produced for the Chinese market and only around 20 per cent are distributed outside of China. Furthermore, the factory in Shanghai is the only one which produces the models for painting applications. And speaking of future steps of ABB, simplification, collaboration and digitalization will be the three main innovation fields for ABB Robotics.

The introduction was accompanied by a visit of the production lines of ABB in Shanghai. It was very impressive to see how these high-end machines were built in the factory. In our tour, we could see different models and sizes of robots and the production of YuMi, the world’s first truly collaborative robot. This new generation of robots enables new forms of manufacturing work. YuMi has two arms with several joints and its controller unit is directly integrated in the main case. Furthermore, YuMi can work together with another employee and enables therefore new working fields.

The visit of ABB Robotics was very interesting and a great opportunity to see how these machines are produced in Shanghai.