As a consequence of the Corona pandemic, many companies had to downsize operations or even shutdown totally unless they were deemed “essential” to healthcare or infrastructure. However, the Austrian machine manufacturer Starlinger & Co. G.m.b.H. could rely on its network of international branch offices and service technicians it had built up for the past 20 years.
In addition, in-house production and industry 4.0 helped to continue operations and provide customer care: Initially developed for after sales service, the Starlinger remote support software gives full access to hardware, software data of the control system of the machine. Now it is also being used for remote installation, commissioning and start-up of machinery. This way, equipment that had been delivered before or during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic could be installed and put into operation. The technicians from the local service bases carried out the installation work with online guidance from the technical experts at the Starlinger headquarters in Weissenbach/Austria, who supported their colleagues via video calls and remote connection to the PLC of the machines.
Another aspect is logistics: Starlinger has a high level of in-house production and sources from central European suppliers, which allowed the company to continue operations without significant interruptions or delays. To meet the legally required social distancing measures, shift systems were introduced also for areas that normally operate during regular office hours to reduce the number of employees working simultaneously.