Global automation major Beckhoff’s operations remains stable

No production cuts planned

Beckhoff’s Xplaner drive technology

Global automation major, Beckhoff Automation, has said that it is producing at full capacity with a constant order intake despite the COVID-19 pandemic. “We do not intend to implement short-time work for our employees or other production cuts,” says managing owner Hans Beckhoff. “We can complete all customer orders with largely normal delivery times. The basis for this production reliability is the company’s foresighted long-term warehouse planning, which stocks both raw materials and finished goods for a total of about six months.”

The company said that delivery of its products via parcel services and freight forwarders in Germany and the EU area have been proceeding without disruptions. Only the remaining border controls in some countries may cause short delays of up to one day. Airfreight capacities are lower due to the current situation, as many machines remain on the ground and there are generally fewer departures.

However, the company has not experienced any significant disruptions in this area either. “We can deliver regularly and very reliably to almost all countries, including China, the USA, India, and Israel, for example,” says Hans Beckhoff.

Alternative sales channels and digital customer communication

Since exhibitions, customer seminars, and other industry events are not taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beckhoff is focusing on alternative ways of providing its customers with digital access and information on new products.

“The dialogue between our engineers and the engineers at the customer’s site is essential for successful automation projects. To this end, we naturally rely on various digital communication channels, which are constantly developing further and positively, both internally and externally,” says Hans Beckhoff.

In order to stay in touch with customers, the company’s product and technology experts are offering various webinars. Beckhoff says it is also possible to have individual technology demonstrations and customer presentations on special requirements.

Worldwide protection measures against Covid-19

In order to protect its employees and customers, Beckhoff is undertaking comprehensive hygiene measures and a two-shift system in production that is separated in space and time. In addition, 80% of the employees from the administration and engineering departments in Germany will continue to work at home for the next two weeks.

“After that, we will decide whether there will be a gradual return to the workplace,” says Hans Beckhoff.

Furthermore, the company’s comprehensive security concept, which provides immediate observation quarantine for suspicious cases, is also taking effect. There are various protective quarantine regulations for employees who belong to a health risk group. “Fortunately, we have been able to prevent infections within the company so far,” says Hans Beckhoff.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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