Living with the coronavirus at Krones: everyday life shifts at Krones Inc.
As businesses across the US begin to re-open with new strict health and safety policies in place, we reflect on how everyday life has been altered here in North America over the last few months. Like most other companies such as Krones Inc. who were deemed an “Essential Business” during the pandemic lock-down here in the US, we have taken a great deal of precautions throughout our operations following US Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines of social distancing, enhanced sanitary, and safety measures. Our operations meanwhile have remained in full steam – on the production floor, in our warehouse operations, by our office staff working remotely, and our service technicians serving on the front lines. We are particularly grateful for the commitment of our skilled technicians that have been vital in keeping our customers’ operations running optimally.
Training measures continue
In addition to their service to customers, many Krones service technicians are continuing to receive training in order to continue to enhance their skills and engage in cross training. Training both virtually and in person with strict sanitary and safety measures applied has been underway at our Training and Technology Center in Franklin, Wis. since April. At a proper social distance and with full personal protective equipment, the trainers have been using Argos augmented reality remote support – a product available to our customers as well – to conduct social distance trainings. Argos support can also be used on mobile devices, giving customers the ability to receive immediate, visual assistance from a Krones support specialist from anywhere in your plant – as if a service technician were onsite, but without the loss of time or travel costs.
Krones Academy, also located with the Training and Technology Center, is now beginning to conduct some customer training on-site, implementing stringent pandemic guidelines and pre-screening methods to ensure the health and safety of all who enter the site. The pre-screenings evaluate admissions based on recent travel, recent proximity to those who could be at risk, any recent COVID-19 related symptoms, etc. The guidelines are fully documented with detailed procedures and requirements to create a safe learning environment for all people entering, leaving, and working in the facility, including keeping a fully stocked supply of hand sanitizer, facemasks, disinfectant, etc.
Additionally, our North American sales team has been engaging in virtual trainings twice weekly via Microsoft Teams since March. The trainings are on various technologies across the House of Krones portfolio in order to enhance professional development.
Supporting the community
We at Krones Inc. have also had the opportunity and the honor of giving back to the community – specifically to those on the front lines. In April, we produced over 10,000 PET bottles for Children’s Wisconsin Hospital, using onsite Krones blow molder equipment. The bottles were then shipped off to a local brewer and were filled with hand sanitizer for the hospital.
And for the last several weeks, we leveraged an overseas business relationship to be able to donate over 5,400 KN95 masks and over 1,000 disposable masks, to hospitals, fire, police, emergency medical services, libraries and churches in our local community.
While day-to-day operations have undergone significant changes in how we interact with our customers and each other internally in recent months, our commitment to our motto remains the same – we do more. It has been gratifying to see the organization rise to this unprecedented challenge while continuing to provide the highest quality service to our customers, support to our employees, and at the same time find ways to support our community and those on the front lines. These are truly challenging times but know that we are fully prepared and well positioned to support you for today and for whatever tomorrow may bring.