Burn Rubber! RWTH Alumni Visit ContiTech AG in Hamburg Harburg

15/05/2017

This year's RWTH alumni get together in the north was held on April 21 in Hamburg-Harburg. The program included a tour of ContiTech AG, organized by alumnus Winfried Sturm. Alumnus Andreas Köhler and his colleagues warmly welcomed our 16-person group and talked about the entire company in great detail.

  People sitting around a table Copyright: Winfried Sturm

ContiTech AG is a subsidiary of Continental AG and is one of the largest manufacturers of rubber and plastic products. The products include all types of hose systems, rubber compound, and surface and tissue materials.

We were led through the company's own mixing department and technical center in two different groups. In the mixing department we witnessed the production of rubber compounds – from the storage of natural rubbers at 40 degrees Celsius to the many floors of mixing equipment to the rolling out of the rubber in hundredweight mats.

The technical center is the core of the development department – here all of the prototypes for hose systems are made, tested, and optimized by hand. Out of more than 2000 products particular focus is placed on cable and wiring connections in autmotive engineering. Every medium, whether gas, oil, water, air, urea, etc. necessitates different requirements and thus individual product properties. Batch production starts only once the product has been tested and accepted by the customer. They can be found in all known car manufacturers worldwide.

Our alumnus, Dr. Maximillian Schöngart, briefed the former Öchers about current developments at RWTH, as they only recently moved from the IKV to ContiTech AG.

Traditionally the RWTH alumni get together ends with a meal at a restaurant. The group chatted over pizza and pasta, sharing memories of Aachen and ideas for the next get together in Hamburg.

Many thanks to Mr. Sturm and Mr. Köhler and his colleagues, who made the topic understandable and interesting for our lay participants.