Living with the coronavirus at Krones Part 6: Update from China

Hello again! Last year, we already told you a lot here on the blog about how we at Krones are dealing with the pandemic. Now I can give you an update from our Chinese subsidiary, as my colleagues Xiang-Jian Zhang and Yun Lu told me a story from their life in Krones Lifecycle Service the other day: An aseptic overhaul was due at the customer Vitasoy in Hong Kong – and to master it, some hurdles had to be overcome. But I don’t want to give too much away here, I’d rather present you the original story:

2020 was destined to be an extraordinary year. A global pandemic has changed the world, but for the needs of our customers, our goal was to never interrupt or lower the standards despite the pandemic.

In October 2020 we received the business visa to Hong Kong from the government. Krones Taicang agreed with Vitasoy Hong Kong to carry out the aseptic line overhaul in Hong Kong in December 2020. Five experienced service engineers volunteered to travel to Hong Kong for this project. They were: Dai Zong-Xuan (filling technology), Zhou Yong-Ping (blowing technology), Hu De-Zhao (process technology), Qin Jing-Ru (Water specialist) and Zhuang Zhi-Guang (line electrician).


But then, just one week after the overhaul had started, one employee of Vitasoy was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. So, Vitasoy started the internal pasteurizing of the whole plant immediately and processed a nucleic acid test for all contacts. Meanwhile, Krones China introduced all the information as soon as they got it from Vitasoy. During the internal discussion, every service engineer was given the possibility to cancel the operation if he would not be voluntary to continue working in Hong Kong. However none of them  requested to leave at this moment and all were willing to continue until project closure. Naturally, Krones also arranged nucleic acid test for all five service engineers immediately.

After three weeks of hard work onsite, the whole overhaul was finished successfully – and on time. Now all five service engineers have already returned to China mainland and started their quarantine at Shenzhen and Shanghai city. After 14 days of quarantine, they can travel back to their respective hometowns for the coming Chinese new year on February 12th 2021.

Vitasoy headquarter sent their appreciation to Krones for this successful overhaul onsite in this critical time. As Mr. Johnny Wang, the plant production director said: “Krones is always the loyal partner of us. This has never changed, even in this critical COVID-19 time.“ Last, but definitely not least a special thanks goes to our service engineers: staying away from the family for such a long time and accepting the quarantine isn’t something to be taken for granted. And they have made not only us, but also our customer proud in the process: “I present high appreciation to their families as well to their sacrifice to leave the family members for almost two months. Without their dedicated contribution, we couldn’t have had the overhaul completed which is a miracle in this specific situation.”