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    Living with the coronavirus at Krones part 4: Krones provides support

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    When I remember my visits to the supermarket and drugstores in March, I think of partially empty shelves: pasta, flour and yeast in particular, as well as toilet paper and disinfectants, were the top 5 on the German hamster shopping list in my eyes. The latter in particular is needed more than ever by various institutions. However, disinfectants are mainly available in large containers, which are difficult to handle in practice. Moreover, many medical and also welfare institutions are at present facing the additional problem of having to provide options for disinfection at a vastly greater number of points than before – but there is a definite shortage of suitable containers. And this is precisely where Krones now steps in: because if there’s one thing we know inside out, it’s containers.

    So Krones supports hospitals, authorities, police and fire brigades with its expertise in producing and filling reusable PET containers. As early as mid-March, we delivered 5,000 half-litre PET containers to the Regensburg University Hospital for decanting disinfectants from the large canisters. But let's face it: manually decanting from the canisters into the small containers, which can then be put into pump dispensers, is not only incredibly time-consuming, but above all labour-intensive. But Krones wouldn't be Krones if we hadn't found a solution here, too: our machines actually fill beverages and liquid food – but in order to relieve the burden on the university hospital's in-house pharmacy, our filling technology experts demonstrated their know-how in filling technology coupled with a good deal of spontaneity, and within just a few days constructed the smallest filler in the company's history to date - and one for disinfectants, to boot. This filler is now in use at the Regensburg University Hospital and is a valuable aid to the staff there.

    Because the demand for containers for such antiseptic liquids was naturally high not only at the Regensburg University Hospital but also at many other facilities, Krones produced additional 500-millilitre PET bottles at its Neutraubling facility. By the beginning of May, 400,000 containers with caps had already been made available to hospitals, police forces and fire brigades throughout Germany at cost price. A second batch of 500,000 bottles is currently in production. Similar support campaigns have also been running outside Germany in recent weeks and months: the Austrian subsidiary Kosme, for example, gave the Lower Austrian fire brigades 9,000 bottles left over from stretch blow-moulding machine tests at the plant, and our US subsidiary Krones Inc. produced more than 10,000 PET containers for the local children's hospital at its plant in Franklin, WI, in April.

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    Krones supports The Austrian subsidiary Kosme, for example, gave the Lower Austrian fire brigades 9,000 bottles left over from stretch blow-moulding machine tests

    The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs itself also approached Krones and asked for support - in this case, not just in the form of empty containers and a so-called filling trestle. What was needed were ready-filled and packaged disinfectant bottles. And because neither Krones nor our customers produce and fill disinfectants themselves, KIC Krones had the perfect solution at the ready: as a consumables specialist, the subsidiary has long been working with a paint and varnish manufacturer in the contract manufacturing of cleaning agents and disinfectants. This cooperation now also came into play in the case of the current request: the disinfectants filled and packaged on behalf of KIC Krones are then redistributed by the Bavarian Ministry to agencies in the Free State. 

    To say that there is something good about the current situation would perhaps be a little euphemistic. But despite all the current challenges, it is definitely nice to see how everyone is helping out - and how uncomplicated cooperation, pragmatically put together project teams and active cooperation can provide quick and uncomplicated support where help is urgently needed. 

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