Greetings from underneath the snow

by Noë van Bergen, winner of the Egemin ie-net Award 2013

I’ve been living in the US for almost one month now, which is a third of my total stay. It keeps being exceptionally cold and snowy. Along open areas like fields and ponds, the wind makes the snow to stack up. A big snowbank reaches up to the gutter of the building opposing the Egemin office, circa 20 feet high.

As I shortly mentioned before, I made a list with ‘things to do in the US’. One of the most exceptional and surreal highlights is the frozen Lake Michigan. When the waves of this big fresh water sea hit the beach, they freeze and start forming ice hills looking comparable to sand dunes. As the lake increasingly gets frozen over, those ice hills start to form a vast desert as far as the eye can reach. Next item crossed off the to-do list is feeling the recoil of a 9mm handgun, which is intense!

As far as experiencing the day to day American lifestyle is concerned, I’ve got to know a group of very welcoming college guys always up to hang out, take me to the weakly trivia quiz night, and try out the local gastronomy at one of the microbreweries once in a while. Last Sunday, football loving America was chained to the TV for the grand finale of the season, the big game. With nachos and cheddar cheese dip on their side, they watched the Denver Broncos getting mercilessly beaten by the Seattle Seahawks. Super Bowl party: off the list it is.

At Egemin, I now am getting involved in the sales and sales support. For me this is a very interesting part. You see how a project comes off the ground and how a conceptual solution is built to fit into a certain facility. Right now there are a couple of sales requests coming in, including some very challenging ones. Egemin USA is well known for their Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) solutions. A recent development is the incorporation of conveyor and Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) technology into the portfolio, also referred to as Warehouse and Distribution Systems (WDS). The first projects combining AGV’s with these conveyor systems are crucial to prove that Egemin can successfully concept and deliver such solutions, the way they’ve done it for the Western European market many times before.

If you would measure my level of integration in the US by the ability of distinguishing the best sandwiches and burgers from the mediocre ones, I would not blend in completely yet. With two more months to go, I’ll do the best I can to redress this shortcoming.

Drive safe!