19. June 2007

Open day at five HARTING plants

Dietmar Harting declares Plant 1 open for the day

The works tours attracted an enthusiastic crowd

The climax of the day at Plant 2 came with the release of thousands of balloons

Open day at five HARTING plants - Thousands of guests visit HARTING

Twelve years after HARTING’s last open day, hundreds of visitors queued at the gates on Saturday, June 16, to catch a glimpse behind the scenes at the HARTING Technology Group. For our guests, it was the start of a voyage of discovery through the world of HARTING. Members of staff were on hand to offer an introduction to their working environment. Among the many questions they faced were, just what are industrial connectors and how are they manufactured? And what are they used for?
Visitors also enjoyed a varied programme of entertainment. Music continued throughout the day at Plant 1, including performances by the Söderblom High School Big Band. Ten-times world dance sport champion Michael Hull invited his audience to take part in his “Sit & Move” show. Those who toured the Training and Presentation Center (SPC) enjoyed an in-depth résumé of the Company’s 60-year history and watched a video profile of the Company in the Center’s cinema. There were also hands-on training sessions to be experienced in the apprenticeship workshop.
Proprietors Dietmar and Margrit Harting together with their daughter Maresa Harting began the proceedings by officially opening the event at 10.00 and wishing their guests “an enjoyable and exciting day“. The doors to Plant 1 at no. 3, Marienwerderstraße, were then promptly swung open. With more than 5,000 visitors attending, including staff from Espelkamp and Minden with their families and friends as well as former HARTING employees, the event proved an all-round success.

There was never a dull moment as HARTING kept visitors on the move, with buses organized by Moorexpress carrying passengers on a tour from Plant 1 through to Plant 5. The shuttle service ferried visitors in comfort from one plant to the next throughout the area.

Tours of the manufacturing areas were provided by HARTING Electronics GmbH & Co. KG at Plant 1 and also by HARTING Electric GmbH & Co. KG at Plant 2. Visitors were able to experience how industrial connectors are made and also get an idea of the depth of production at HARTING – from the production of housings through to the connector inserts, all of the components are made on site. At Plant 3 which is home to tool-making and special-purpose engineering unit HARTING Applied Technologies GmbH & Co. KG, guests were able to appreciate how many of the production machines used elsewhere in the HARTING Group are actually developed and produced. HARTING Systems GmbH & Co. KG at Plant 5 gave a presentation of how a modern vending machine plant operates. Visitors were able to see just how a vending machine is manufactured in a series of processes beginning with sheet metal working, then painting and finally the technology inside.
Fans of fast (model) cars watched the HARTING Grand Prix on the Carrera track in Plant 2, where what counted were skill and coordination. Whereas at the tombola in the Warehousing and Dispatch Center, it was pure luck that decided which prize the participants took home with them. Visitors to Plant 3 could test their footballing skills by shooting goals into an RFID net. (RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification.) The shooter’s accuracy is measured by radio. Their personal details are stored on a chip or RFID transponder label which is stuck to the ball. Even while still in flight the data on the label is read by antennae attached to the goal posts and the bar, and the result is displayed on a screen. With these antennae and a specially programmed algorithm, it is possible both to read the stored data and determine the approximate position of the ball.

At the HARTING Training Center (HTC) at Works 4B the Personnel Department gave a presentation which included both education and training and pension provisions. The robot members of the Brainstormer Tribots RoboCup team displayed their technical finesse at Plant 5. The Osnabrück University team, which also has long-term support from HARTING, were the winners of the RoboCup German Open 2007 at the Hannover Messe.
Among all the attractions on offer, the children too were not forgotten, with a varied junior programme available at every plant. Naturally, hunger and thirst were catered for, with a range of culinary delights and beverages from across the world. Guests could sample everything from Swiss cheese and Italian ice cream, Asian stir-fry and American muffins to grilled local sausages, washed down by drinks ranging from café au lait to cocktails. The sheer variety amply demonstrated the international orientation of the HARTING Technology Group.
After six hours of exploration, the gates finally closed behind the visitors at around 16.00. The climax of the day at Plant 2 came with the release of thousands of balloons which marked the end of a successful event which was notable for its variety.