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    How Krones is using artificial intelligence

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    22. January 2024
    3:45 min.
    Krones recognized the significance of artificial intelligence early on and established an AI team within the company.
    • Philipp Olenberg is Head of AI. He and his team work on the development, implementation and governance of AI solutions at Krones.

    Artificial intelligence is booming. And it’s no wonder: It offers companies unprecedented possibilities – and at the same time presents them with certain real challenges. Read on to learn how Krones is working with AI, including what specific steps the company is taking.

    At the very latest, the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT – an artificial intelligence tool that is available for all to use – has made one thing clear: Artificial intelligence (AI) plays an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives – and in our work as well. Because of the dynamic development taking place in these new technologies, it is crucial that we leverage them for our own innovations but equally important that we handle them with due care and responsibility – something that Krones recognized and made a priority from an early stage.

    Thus, a dedicated department was established within, tasked with examining the questions that arise on all aspects of AI and led by Philipp Olenberg. As Head of AI, Olenberg manages two teams of experts specializing in knowledge-based AI and machine learning, respectively. The interdisciplinary teams include data engineers, data scientists and innovation managers, among others.

    At Krones, we see many potential applications for AI, and the varied points of focus of our teams allow us to develop new solutions for our product and service portfolio while also tapping potential for optimizing our internal processes. Erwin HächlPhilipp OlenbergHead of AI

    AI at work

    Internally at Krones, artificial intelligence can be used to overcome existing challenges, for instance within our quotation system. Because our portfolio of models, variants and components is so comprehensive, it can take as long as several weeks for a customer to receive a finished quote. We intend to use AI to shorten the wait to mere hours and thus free our employees to work on more complex cases. In addition, we will add to the dynamic bid configuration system supplementary visual material such as videos and 3D models. This project is supported by a cooperation partner that has developed an open-source AI tool and thus made a name for itself as one of the world’s leaders in the field. The project is currently still in a pilot phase, working with models from packing technology.

    Image 38544
    A Krones line consists of many different components, which makes configuring a bid quite complex. Krones aims to use artificial intelligence to speed up the process in the future.

    AI Training Certificate promotes responsible use

    But the AI team’s work is not limited to implementing specific practical applications: Besides developing proprietary AI solutions, the team also has been drafting clear rules for the use of artificial intelligence and harmonizing them with the strategy of That entails intensive communication with the various departments to determine the potential applications for AI and to resolve any problems that arise. In particular, efficient data management is of paramount importance to Krones. Together with the Information Management department, the AI teams will develop an overarching data platform that will optimize the governance, quality and availability of data. To ensure that the new technologies are used responsibly, we have also designed and rolled out a dedicated training course across the group. The “AI Training Certificate” enables employees from all departments to use the tools sensibly and to identify and mitigate the risks associated with their application.

    Artificial intelligence is an executive priority

    Although there is, to date, no legal framework governing artificial intelligence, we are already preparing for forthcoming regulations such as the EU AI Act. As might be expected, there is much discussion of the topic within the company’s senior management. As a means to maintain a regular dialogue about it with the Executive Board, Krones has established the Advisory Council on AI Strategy.

    “I am glad that artificial intelligence is being made a top priority at Krones and that the Advisory Council on AI Strategy gives us a format for regular dialogue about it with the Executive Board Members,” says Philipp Olenberg. “In the future, it will become increasingly important to adequately review innovations and their implications, assess risks and potential and take actions that are right for Krones. One measure that I am especially pleased about is the plan to further expand the AI department in 2024.”

    22. January 2024
    3:45 min.

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