Plastics Training: November 2011 Archives
I recently received a request from a social-networking site to discuss the complications companies encounter in locating well-rounded employees. In this post, I want to address the underlying problem, which is the lack of comprehensive training for production employees.
The most effective training systems provide the employees with (1) the information and skills to work and make effective decisions in their job and (2) prepare them for new challenges and advancement opportunities.
Regarding the first goal, the employees needs to know more that what is 'necessary' to do their job. For example, teaching the employee the basic steps in a die change is not effective long-term training. An effective die setter should have a fundamental understanding of many aspects including general safety, job-specific safety, tooling, machinery, processing, and the basic economics involved. Without this strong background, they lack the full knowledge and appreciation to bring true value to the company. Such a trained employee may be very helpful in identifying more efficient procedures, evaluating newer technologies, developing new solutions, and troubleshooting complications when they arise.
It has been said that your workforce is your most valuable asset, yet this is only true when your employees are treated as more than simple robots. Robots who perform specific functions can be easily replaced... competent and capable employees, on the other hand, will help your company improve, grow, expand, and take on new challenges.
I received this follow-up question regarding the processing of PVC...
I would like to know if it is safe to mold parts in PVC and acetal in presses that are next to each other?
It should be safe to process, but it is critical that you vent the fumes from both machines to prevent corrosion of your equipment. You should also take the time to educate your employees on the dangers of combining these materials.
It is critical that you create a system to prevent any chance of cross contamination. This may be as simple as a color-coded system so that the color of the container matches a panel next to the machine. Personally, I would create a fool-proof system where the container for VC is not compatible with the acetal material delivery system and vice-versa.
Recently I was at a customer site and they had many older training materials sitting the the training room unused...
We plan on keeping all these materials here as before so they can be used as a resource while people use your training.
Training materials are only useful when they are incorporated into the overall training plan. As a rule, employees will not open a book or take training unless they are directed to do so. They are typically too busy to just sit down and read books or take training unless it is requested of them. Believe it or not, if the training is captivating, relevant, and self paced, employees will be very interested in taking training when asked to do so.
It is better to fill your training room with instructional aids such as part prints, sample defects, and work instructions.