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    A look at an electrical engineer’s daily routine at Krones

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    17. August 2023
    4:10 min.

    Develop, design, repair: An electrical engineer is responsible for a multi-facetted range of tasks and can work in many different fields, from production, erection and installation to maintenance and after-sales service support, right through to research and development. In an interview, Lukas Stober tells us about the everyday work awaiting a career entrant in the field of drive technology at Krones.

    Lukas took degree courses combining practical experience and study in electrical engineering and IT at the East Bavarian University of Applied Science (OTH) in Regensburg. He joined Krones in 2016 as part of his dual course of study, starting his training as an electronics technician for industrial engineering. His tasks included supporting the training centre team in introducing Magellan, an administrative HR software for creating redeployment plans, performance appraisals and report logs, and for system administration. Lukas held training courses on that for the employees looking after trainees in the various departments and for the then trainees at the facilities in Flensburg and Nittenau. In 2019, he did a hands-on training term. In 2020/2021, he wrote his bachelor’s thesis in the department where he is currently working: CDA Technical Owner Drives. Four and a half years after he started his studies, he’d obtained no less than two qualifications: an electronics technician certificate and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and information technology. But that was not all: In order to build on the knowledge he had gained, Lukas successfully completed his Master of Engineering in 2022.

    Programming and data evaluation

    Lukas has been a permanent member in the Corporate Digitalisation and Automation team since September 2022. He works in drive technology and is tasked with a wide variety of jobs in connection with different projects, mainly with data evaluation and programming such as VisiWin programming. What is involved here is a process visualisation software which is used for setting up touchscreens before they are installed so as to ensure best possible operator control. His tasks are firstly to create pages with numerical inputs and outputs, images and buttons for a new machine and secondly to write the corresponding part in the B&R control system, so that functions later selected by the operator can be executed. “That takes up most of my time these days. My range of tasks changes, depending on how far along we are in the project concerned and on the specific points to be addressed,” says Lukas.

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    The tasks handled by the team around Lukas include configuring various parameters for future machine operation.

    In a current project, Lukas’ focus is on programming a prototype for a machine about to be delivered. The goal is to reconfigure the system so that it can sort round and square bottles simultaneously. To this end, the parameters must be set to ensure that the robot’s arm can grip the new bottle. As he explains: “At present, one of our jobs is to configure various parameters for setting a CNC curve, a traversing curve of a robot. The goal is to readjust the traversing curve so that it can shift bottles without thereby re-arranging other bottles. At this point, you can identify the parameters that must be changed to prevent any collisions.”

    To stay on top of the project’s individual phases and time schedule, his team use a Kanban board which lists issues to be dealt with soon. A coordination meeting is held once a week where all those involved in the project report their progress. They discuss their priorities in regard to upcoming tasks, which gives everyone a clear picture of where things stand and what’s up next.

    Step-by-step instructions for easier operator control

    His team is also responsible for creating wizards, meaning assistants for machine set-up, which give step-by-step instructions on a screen and make it easier for users to measure the machine’s parameters, e.g. for bottle gripping, or to provide a better point for measuring the distance between photo-cell and the robot’s centre, for example. To quote Lukas: “In our current project, we also wanted to have an option for checking the process of measuring parameters and improving it if there is a deviation. We therefore believed it was very important to have set-up instructions since this value is quite crucial for process dependability, for ensuring that containers are reliably gripped.”

    What’s more, Lukas supports students doing a mandatory internship in his department, such as the one who is currently helping the team create VisiWin pages.

    A multi-facetted job

    What Lukas likes best about his job is that it has many facets: “It’s true, programming takes up most of my time, but there’s always different tasks. Moreover, programming is done in various environments and programming languages. Or I occasionally have some other job to do, like analysing measured data or evaluating the motors’ torques and curves in order to optimise the traversing curve of a robot movement still further and improve the dynamics involved.”

    Quite apart from computers, software and working tools, Lukas cannot do without tea and having lunch together with his team. “I believe regular exchange of views is very important. What I also greatly appreciate in our teamwork is the group dynamics and our drive to provide high quality, meaning everybody is busy improving their own methodology or that of our team,” says Lukas.

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    It’s true, programming is an integral part of Lukas’ daily work routine but the specific tasks involved vary.
    17. August 2023
    4:10 min.

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