Does vocational training mean doing nothing but simple, monotonous tasks? Not at all! When – true to its corporate vision – Krones wants to work on solutions for the future, we need highly motivated young talent. And how do we secure that talent? By offering challenging projects in which apprentices have the opportunity to take on responsibility, broaden their horizons and learn about interdisciplinary collaboration. It sounds almost too good to be true. But it is already reality for the assembly and installation of a pilot filler for the new Augustiner pilot brewery in Munich.
Where the art of brewing meets mechanical and electrical technology: Apprentices from Augustiner and Krones demonstrate their skill installing a pilot filler for the new educational and pilot brewery.
“The fact that you can work on such a practical project in your first year, without much experience, was really exciting for me. We got to work on an actual customer order,” says a gratified Jonas Meister. As a student in a dual course of vocational training and university study for electrical and information technology at Krones, Jonas played an active role in the assembly of the pilot filler, together with other apprentices. “At first we did the mechanical assembly, part by part, following a construction plan and under the supervision of a skilled tradesman. Then we worked with an electronics technician to do the electrical installation: we did the wiring, installed the sensors and connected everything in the control cabinet. We also pulled in and bundled the pneumatics for the filling valves,” explains Jonas about the assembly process.
The fact that you can work on such a practical project in your first year, without much experience, was really exciting for me. Jonas MeisterDual student for electrical and information technology at Krones
Collaborating across all areas
Augustiner’s apprentices are also working on the new filler project. After all, it will be part of the new educational and pilot brewery on the Freiham estate once it is commissioned next year. And then it will help up-and-coming brewers and maltsters learn their craft. “The filler is a crucial element for us. When we run trials and fill beer here, we want to do it under optimal, true-to-life conditions – and the filler’s technology is exactly the same as the model in our new filling center, where we can’t run trials,” explains Werner Mayer, the brewery’s director and managing partner. “However, such tests are essential for a long-established brewery like ours, with a rich tradition and the highest of quality standards. They also assist in transferring knowledge to young people who are apprenticing with us.” And that goes for more than the brewers and maltsters, continues Mayer: “We also train industrial machinery mechanics and workshop electricians – and for them the pilot filler is also the best place to prepare for working in the filling center itself.”
With that, the educational and pilot brewery fits perfectly into the picture of long-term partnership between Krones and Augustiner, in which there is collaboration across all areas – whether in brewing or in filling. “Augustiner stands for tradition and a history that stretches back many centuries, but inside these walls they’re always working with state-of-the-art technology. That’s why we like to test new technologies with Augustiner, for instance with regard to digital innovation or artificial intelligence,” explains Markus Tischer, Executive Board member responsible for International Operations and Services at Krones. “What really makes this project special is the fact that it was a joint project of the apprentices at Augustiner and Krones. Together, they did the planning and implementation.”
By apprentices for apprentices
And according to Jonas Meister, that was also one of the highlights for the young people involved at Krones: “The pilot filler is a special product. Unlike other fillers, it’s for the apprentices’ workshop at Augustiner. It’s cool to see that the project was almost entirely built by apprentices and will now be used by apprentices.”
This experience of tuning in to a customer’s needs is one of the benefits that Krones Executive Board Member Markus Tischer especially appreciates about the project: “This little filler contains exactly the same technology as the big ones – everything from the mechanical, pneumatic and piping systems to the electronics to automation technology. That shows how important it is that we have people on our projects who can collaborate across disciplines and work with customers to develop solutions that deliver real added value and benefits for our customers. Finding people like that on the labor market is difficult. And that’s what makes the apprenticeship program so valuable to us.”
According to Jonas Meister, he and his fellow apprentices are pleased with the results of this exciting challenge – and the pilot filler isn’t the only example: “This isn’t the first time we’ve been able to work so independently. Even early in our training, we were given projects that we were directly responsible for.”
“We shape the future with passion and bold commitment,” is part of Krones’ corporate vision. Our motivated young people are certainly demonstrating that!!