Monday morning: the alarm clock rings and the new work week begins. For many KUKA employees, it’s back to their usual workplace for the next five days. The week of a KUKA service technician also usually begins on Monday morning.
But many things that happen after that are difficult to predict. That’s why the colleagues equip themselves well at the beginning of the week and take the precaution of packing not only a well-stocked toolbox, but also a toothbrush and clothes for a few days. After all, you never know where the next assignment will take place and whether you’ll be back home in the evening.
In addition to regular maintenance, there are sometimes technical challenges that need to be solved. That’s when our service technicians are in demand and travel to solve the problem. Around the clock, seven days a week. This also applies, even more so, during general vacation periods such as Easter, summer or Christmas. This is a busy time for our service department, because our customers take advantage of these quieter times to maintain or rebuild their robots and systems.
“Our customers really appreciate our fast service, and that also sets us apart from the market: at KUKA, customers not only buy a robot, they also get reliable round-the-clock service. Not all competitors can offer that,” explains Michael Sedlmair, Head of Field Service South. And it’s never boring in field service. The first thing to do on site is to improvise and look for the problem. And it’s often not the robot at all, but operator or programming errors, for example.
With strong will
Always new challenges, lots of customer contact and travels, as well as spontaneity and the unknown: everyday life is already demanding under normal circumstances. When a pandemic then also keeps the world on tenterhooks, things get complicated. Neither contacts nor travels are desired or possible. But our customers can afford less than ever additional production downtime. That’s why, even in times of a pandemic, our service team is on duty under adverse conditions and gives its all every day.
“Of course, under such conditions, every assignment is voluntary and we take special consideration of employees from risk groups. However, I also have to say that there are really hardly any assignments where our colleagues back out. All of them still put their heart and soul into their work. I really take my hat off to them,” says Rüdiger Finke, Head of Field Service West. And Jens Tschenisch, Head of Field Service North, adds: “We also had orders in high-risk areas with incidences of over 600. Nevertheless, our colleagues traveled there without hesitation. All that mattered to them was to keep our customers’ business going, even in the period between Christmas and New Year. The will to keep everything running smoothly for our customers is truly unprecedented.”
Hard but effective
The “new normal” for our service also includes, for example, a series of tests, sometimes as many as twelve per week. Or even weeks-long stays in quarantine hotels before they are even deployed at the customer’s site for several days or even weeks.
Even under the most adverse conditions, KUKA service technicians are on duty around the clock for our customers with a great deal of commitment. In a job that is more varied than almost any other.