Visiting the factory-- Advantech in Kunshan

We loaded up the buses and left early for our day at the factory. Advantech's Kunshan location is a terrific example of a high customization short run manufacturing facility with all the modern features. We came in to a cheering section (literally) of Advantech employees who sorted us by language and took us to a briefing room where we got excellent explanations of what we were seeing from Advantech employees-- and it was clear that many of the younger staffers who were reporting were doing their first briefing to VIPs in English. They all did excellent jobs, a credit to Advantech's training programs. The campus, and that's what it is, consists of several interconnected buildings, a construction site where they're nearly doubling the size of the facility, and two dormitories where the employees and managers live. We saw the QC and testing facilities, and we whizzed by the pick and place, surface mount pc board assembly areas, and the industrial PC assembly areas. We could have been in any state-of-the-art facility anywhere. Then back for more briefings about Advantech's quality and service programs. There are some ambitious programs going on here, folks. Very interesting. Then we were loaded back on the buses, complete with "box lunch" and were off to the afternoon and evening's entertainment-- a visit to a "water village" called Zhou Zhuang. This is a well-preserved ancient Chinese village, where the houses are separated by canals, as in Venice. The guide called it "The Venice of China," and it was fascinating. There were too many things to see, including an underwater tomb, and a famous museum of Shang period antiquities. I'll have to come back some day. We were treated to an excellent dinner and then home again to Lake Malaren. By then, I was exhausted. All I can say is that Advantech puts on an excellent conference, and I sincerely hope to be able to attend the next one.

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