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From 06 to 09 May 2022, heads were once again spinning at AOE. Okay, that's not so unusual. After all, tinkering with innovation is on the daily agenda at our company. This time, however, we didn't work on customer projects, but on our own behalf: At the AOE Hackathon, employees came together to solve very different problems or issues of their own choosing. Some of them resulted from a concrete need in our daily work, office life or life in general, while others were simply about testing what is technologically possible and implementing new ideas in peace and quiet.
For this purpose, participating employees were given one and a half days off. Some of the participants also continued to tinker on the projects on the weekend in between.
If you think of developers, pizza, Club Mate and above all lots of code when you think of the AOE Hackathon, you're not completely wrong – but you're not completely right either. Not all topics were purely technical, and employees without a development background were also welcome. The basic premise: expand expertise, think outside the box, pursue your own interests, be curious – and experiment without a predefined goal.
One project, for example, dealt with improving the LuisenForum evacuation workflow: For this purpose, various steps were automated and a web app with an easy-to-use front end was programmed for use by the fire protection team. The goal was to automatically generate a complete attendance list from various data sources and send it to the printer by simply pressing a button, and to translate the official LuisenForum alarm codes, and thus save valuable time and improve communication in the event of an emergency.
In another project, the digital food pass, which was used for the first time at our industry 4.0 network event, was implemented for our AOE Meals. This means that AOE employees at lunch can digitally track the ecological footprint and nutritional values as well as the ingredients and their supply chains. A first version was created during the hackathon; it will be optimized and made compatible with other software. So it's exciting for us, and maybe also for our customers!
The AOE 3D printer was also the subject of the hackathon: One project dealt with enabling remote control of the printer – for time savings and more security. One group also succeeded in printing a hook for fixing office lamps – and thus saving AOE a lot of money in the future.
To sum it up: The AOE Hackathon was a complete success and it's impressive to see what can be implemented in short time when people with different backgrounds come together without pressure and combine their knowledge, experience, ideas, and inspiration. We are looking forward to next time!
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