Steve Sterling, Contributor

The Quality of This Training Was So High a State Agency Paid the Tab

By Steve Sterling, Contributor | Permanent Link


One of Pro Mach’s divisions uses a written exam as part of its new machine training program, and I wondered how machine operators reacted when faced with taking a written test. After reviewing a sample exam for a Wexxar/BEL case former, I became even more curious about operator reaction. The nine page exam, complete with schematics, looked like it came right out of a technical college course. What happened to operators if they failed?

Peter Zepf, director of service and HR, Wexxar/BEL, started the written exam process at this Pro Mach division. Zeph said the exams are assessment tools that enable the instructor to determine how well each person in the training session understood the overall process and key parameters of operating the machine, not the pass/fail tests I imagined. Zepf added that Wexxar/BEL PMMI certified trainers review every incorrect answer with the test taker and ask the person to explain the process used to arrive at the response. The trainer helps the operator grasp the internal logic of the machine and the thought processes for arriving at the correct interpretation and answer. Trainers do that with every person in the group.

Doesn’t that take a lot of time? “A lot less time than a service call,” Zepf says. He said that most operators don’t mind the written exam. In fact, after completing the course and receiving their certificates most graduates feel a sense of pride in their mastery of a state-of-the-art packaging machine.

Some end users report consistently fast changeover, while others say machine uptime is high and service calls are low compared to packaging machines supplied by companies that offer less stringent training. One end user submitted the Wexxar/BEL training materials to a State agency and the cost of the training was reimbursed from a workers’ improvement fund. Zepf said that in some instances end users retain the course materials and exam and train new operators themselves.

Here’s the question: Are you satisfied with the overall quality of training provided by machine builders? Vote yes or no. I welcome your comments.

Are you satisfied with the overall quality of training provided by machine builders?

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