With a few exceptions, all igus motion plastics are manufactured at the headquarters in Cologne. Production here is currently running at full capacity and so far we have had very few breakdowns in the supply chain, as we have been implementing the two-supplier strategy for years without exceptions.
We have implemented over 250 preventive measures at the Cologne production site since February 2020, both those prescribed by the authorities and those that go beyond them. We offer, for example, free rapid tests to our visitors and have installed a drive-in for customers collecting on our premises and a vaccination centre for our employees.
Due to the increased Corona situation in November 2021, we have tightened our hygiene measures for in-person trade fairs:
All interested parties who cannot come to an in-person trade fair have the opportunity to have igus experts present all the news at our virtual trade fair stand.
Whether they are customers, job applicants, suppliers or technicians who come to carry out necessary work or install new equipment, all new visitors who enter our halls must comply with the 3G regulation, i.e. they must be vaccinated, recovered or able to present a negative corona test result. Anyone who needs to be tested can do so for free in our own rapid test centre on the igus premises. The result will be available after ten minutes.
On 11th June 2021, the vaccination centre began work after weeks of intensive preparation. Under the general management of HR, many helping hands from maintenance, facility management, IT, trade show construction and communication created a vaccination centre. They used a building that was bought last year and had not been used for a long time, with an impressive result. A female and a male doctor were signed on specially. They were able to start with the first employees from igus production, as they can only work on site without any possibility of reverting to the home office. Basically, all employees at igus can register for a vaccination. Appointments will be allocated in the next few weeks depending on the availability of the vaccine.
We have installed a system at both main entrances that automatically measures the body temperature and the correct fit of the protective mask of all people entering. A light immediately shows the result in green or red. In addition, employees are available for further instructions should it light up red due to increased temperature, missing or incorrectly fitted mask.
In February 2021, the first automatic mask dispenser for employees and customers was added at the main entrance to the company's headquarters in Cologne. Colleagues from the Low Cost Automation team and trade fair developments have joined forces and built a dispenser that gives out a medical masks without contact (simply hold up an employee chip). Of course, it consists entirely of components from igus: a drylin delta robot, an igus robot control unit, a drylin E D1 motor control system, motor-driven drylin linear axes and chainflex cables. A good example of possible applications in the field of automation and of the practical innovative spirit of our colleagues.
We have installed indoor air filters in our main canteen, the corona rapid test centre and in parts of the factory. The tubes, which have been attached at ceiling height, absorb the air and free it from possible (corona) viruses and bacteria via UVC radiation.
New service "motion plastics to go"
Order products and collect them yourself immediately from igus: our customers can use this new delivery option, as of now, to obtain required plastic components even faster.
On the igus premises in Cologne Porz-Lind, self-collectors can stop at a specified point in front of the main building after receiving a collection confirmation via mail. There, they check in over an intercom, and an igus employee will load the ordered motion plastics directly into the boot of the car. The service is completely contact-free and adheres to the distance and hygiene regulations.
Due to the rapidly increasing infection numbers, we are intensifying our already comprehensive measures again:
Since 13th July, we have been offering all employees who return from holiday and physically resume work on site, the opportunity to be tested for the coronavirus free of charge.
The test is carried out in co-operation with the renowned Quade laboratory in Cologne. The tests are offered once a week at the igus premises, and all week at the laboratory in downtown Cologne.
Since 11.5.2020, our field service has again been allowed to visit customers under strict hygiene conditions.
Customer visits will only take place if a written invitation has been issued.
During the visit, the sales staff always keep the required minimum distance, have washed and disinfected their hands thoroughly before the appointment and wear a mouth guard.
All sales representatives were equipped with disinfectant and face masks.
We manufacture components for the so-called "face shields" by injection molding from recycled iglidur A200 material.
Dr. Thilo Schultes heads our tool shop and says: "With a corresponding tool, over 10,000 headshields can be produced and delivered per week in the Cologne factory. This enables us to mass produce the headbands quickly and at significantly reduced costs".
We have made the corresponding tool at our own expense. The first 100,000 headbands are available free of charge, afterwards they are available at manufacturer's costs. If we achieve net proceeds, we will donate these.
Hand disinfectant dispensers are installed at all entrances, sanitary facilities, in the canteen areas and at many other places throughout the company site.
In addition, the cleaning intervals for all neuralgic surfaces such as door and window handles, handrails, table surfaces, sanitary facilities etc. have been massively increased.
At the main entrance, small bottles of hand disinfectant can be taken along "for your pocket".
Since March 2020, the temperature of all employees is measured every day at the entrances. In addition, people are provided with mouth-nose masks. We strongly recommend everyone to wear them to prevent the spreading of viruses as far as possible.
Where possible, all doors in the building are open to avoid contact with door handles. The electronic time clocks have also been adjusted so that they work without contact.
To limit the number of people who enter the company building, we are not meeting any customers, applicants or other external people until further notice.
There are posters with hygiene rules all over the company site. These include regular hand washing and disinfection, sneezing and coughing labels, no hands initiative, but also things like healthy eating, lots of exercise in the fresh air, warm clothing etc.
In addition, there is information on how to recognise Covid-19 symptoms and how to act accordingly.
This information has also been sent by e-mail and there is a separate blog in the employee portal.
Furthermore, all doors that are not allowed to be open are marked with a sign indicating how to open them easily with your elbow.
In order to visually remind people of the applicable distance rule of 2 metres, appropriate floor markings are applied in all areas where increased passenger traffic is possible.
These areas include, for example, the canteens, paths to the changing rooms, the reception or the areas in front of the time clocks
In order to prevent the transmission of viruses as much as possible, the staff density was drastically reduced. In production, a 3-shift system was activated in order to equalize the personnel density.
In addition, care is taken to ensure that work is carried out as far apart as possible, at least 2 metres.
Absolutely necessary meetings are held with the minimum number of people and in compliance with the prescribed distances or, if possible, digitally.
All employees, who do not necessarily have to be on site, have been working in the home office since 13.03.2020. The few employees who work on site therefore have a great amount of distance between them.
All employees in the home office have complete remote access and redirected telephones for full accessibility.
With tools such as Microsoft Teams, customers can continue to receive full advice in virtual visits.
Internal meetings are also exclusively digital.
Even in the current situation we want to provide our employees with the best possible catering. In order to offer maximum safety, 5 new, additional canteens were built in one week.
There are no more self-service counters and beverage stations. The overlapping shifts of canteen staff have been suspended.
In addition, we have completely dispensed with cash and now offer all meals free of charge in addition to breakfast and lunch, which were already free of charge before.
Employees who, due to the current situation, have had to cancel holidays that have already been booked can carry over their holidays until the end of 2021.
The working hours have been designed to be as flexible as possible to allow for childcare.
CEO Frank Blase described the situation on 31.3.2020 in this video.