Design Thinking – together we’re creative

The Design Thinking approach is our way of mastering challenges. For this purpose, three things are necessary: a multidisciplinary team, a creative environment, and a sophisticated methodology. We at Krones utilise in our workshops specifically formulated procedures, so as to seek out new solutions quickly and efficiently.

The starting situation

Sequences in the production operation repeatedly pose new challenges. And in order to meet and master these challenges, appropriate experts are essential. They address complex problems with intensive dedication, seeking out ways to find fit-for-purpose solutions. Experts, too, swiftly realise that the options involved are many and various.

This time, our challenge consisted of rethinking complex assembly sequences for which only a restricted area is available. This demands multifaceted solutional approaches, to enable the most suitable to be ultimately chosen. This is why we at Corporate Communication arranged a Design Thinking Workshop together with the Industrial Engineering Department.

The Design Thinking approach

Design Thinking is researched and practised at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, for example. We chose a Design Thinking Workshop for brainstorming so as to come up with a maximised number of ideas in a minimised timeframe, which we can than evaluate and filter.

For our brainstorming, we put together multidisciplinary teams that included both persons from the production staff and from other departments, e.g. Research and Development. The participants were during the workshop inspired by pictures from other sectors, e.g. the catering trade, craft operations, residential spaces, etc.

In several rounds, solutional approaches were formulated inside the teams, which then in their turn inspired the participants from the other groups to come up with new ideas. It’s most expedient when the ideas are represented in pictorial form, so as to render them more easily “legible” for the other participants.

The phase in which ideas are formulated without criticising or filtering them is called the divergence phase. In this phase, the participants should come from both substantively related and non-related disciplines. The phase in which the experts then evaluate and filter the ideas is the convergence phase. It’s important to clearly differentiate the two phases in order to achieve an optimum result.


The result of our workshop: we formulated 42 solutional approaches within three hours. Of these, eight were rated as high-potential for space economy, and 15 ideas with medium potential. That’s rather impressive! Design Thinking workshops for brainstorming are suitable both for new-product innovations and for optimising processes in the production operation. The most important thing is that we’re all pulling together.