Modern, versatile and innovative – as an engineer at Krones

No one will be surprised to hear that Krones employs a lot of engineers – after all, we build machines, so it’s only logical. But what exactly these engineers at Krones do all day was something I had hitherto found difficult to imagine. High time, then, to pursue my inquiries at the right place. Which in my case was Veronika Bauer: an engineer in Research and Development at Krones.

After qualifying as an electronics specialist, Veronika was not content to rest on her laurels. So she decided to get a degree in mechanical engineering as well. Her job-seeking then led her to Krones in Neutraubling: after she had already familiarised herself with Krones as an intern, a student trainee and a thesis author, it was not a difficult decision for her when she discovered a job vacancy in the Mechatronics R&D Department. She applied, she was accepted, and so Veronika began her first permanent job at Krones.

But why at Krones precisely? What’s so special about working as an engineer at Krones?

Veronika begins by describing her typical workday for me, and this is definitely a whole lot more varied than I had vaguely imagined – no way is this a monotonous office job!An engineer at Krones has conceptual tasks, too, of course, like designing assemblies – but that’s not all. New technologies have to be checked out in appropriate trials, and subsequent erection and commissioning at the client’s facility also have to be supported.

Since this year, Veronika has had the first project of her own her own: line optimisation by means of a sensor bottle, which measures is used to measure pressures, impacts and scuffing in a line The measured data collected enable the line to be optimised, and the quality of container transport improved.

To make sure everything runs smoothly, she firstly has to put in place a good organisational structure, and a concomitantly effective team. Secondly, she also visits clients’ facilities in order to take measurements, test assemblies and in a direct dialogue with clients and vendors to design-enhance and optimise the sensor bottle. Since Krones is a globally operating company, she naturally enough comes into frequent contact with international clients and vendors.

What’s special about Krones

What’s special about Krones is the sheer diversity of the machines involved. Its product range covers many different technologies, like fillers and labellers, but also conveyors and plastics technology. Which means each department has is own technologies and challenges, rendering Krones an incredibly multifaceted company. “The engineers are responsible for conceiving complete lines, so they have to work together with lots of different specialist departments,” explains Vroni. “So you never stop learning! As the world’s market leader, moreover, we work on authentic high-end solutions! Each line is different and highly complex, which means we’re repeatedly faced with exciting tasks and new challenges. What’s more, as engineers we’re involved in the entire conception, and are not just responsible for individual parts.”

Morever, in a large corporation like Krones, Vroni and her colleagues have major opportunities in terms of development work, of course. “When somebody’s seen something new, or has simply come up with a good idea, we have the freedom to try it out if we want. It’s easy to initiate or collaborate with institutes. Simply to test whether the whole thing is viable.” This is possible because the principal focus in der R&D is on technology and development, and not only on the costs.

So that colleagues from other departments also know just how innovative the R&D people are, an internal fair will be held in Neutraubling on 16 and 17 July 2018 for the first time – the InnoDays, where Veronika and her colleagues from various specialist department will be showcasing what they’re working on. “This is going to be an exciting occasion! Everyone’s working to meet a tight schedule and collaborating with other departments in order to come up with something good. The work involved is highly enjoyable, since it’s all handled with maximised simplicity. You don’t have any encumbrances or duties, but of course everyone wants to be able to present something to impress their colleagues!”

Her remit sometimes includes Krones’ appearances at external trade fairs. One of the special highlights for her (and for so many Krones staff as well) was the drinktec 2017 in Munich. She and her team spent three years on development work for the fair. “That was a very exciting time,” she recalls. Even when towards the end, when time was beginning to run out. But it was precisely then that authentic team spirit took charge, when the entire team from different departments, whether it was assembly, manufacture or process technology, worked smoothly together so as to get everything finished on time. Seeing the result on the stand at the fair, finally, made everyone proud, and was incredibly rewarding.

So things are going really well for Veronika and her colleagues. And nevertheless: some challenges still remain to be mastered. And Veronika will be telling me about these as well, so you can look forward to the next article!