in Vol. 8 - January Issue - Year 2007
Benefits & Targets For In-House Training
MFN Trainer Paul Huyton
This column is a regular feature and is written by one of our MFN trainers or the Editorial Office. Readers are invited to send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the trainers, see our website www.mfn.li/trainers.
Many readers will be familiar with MFN Shot Peen Training Courses, which are delivered through both communal workshops and dedicated in-house company courses. Whilst workshops provide great opportunities for networking and trade shows, I want to write about the benefits that in-house training provides. Additionally, I want to outline what can be achieved; what are the realistic targets.
There is no doubt that in-house training provides a very high level of personal tuition. In presenting the courses to a small group the opportunities for two-way communication between trainer and trainees are greatly enhanced. So the learning process can be very thorough and learning is reinforced by immediate discussion of any points that require clarification.
Whilst certified training of operators is a requirement in most shot peening specifications, in-house training is not just an obligation, a cost that must be accepted to pass an audit. Training will provide greater knowledge to make the production process more efficient and cut production costs and turn-times. During my in-house training sessions I have found that we can discuss specific requirements for that company and relate the course material directly to their application. I know that companies have been able to quickly apply improvements to their procedures and gain immediate pay-back on the training costs. An outcome like this will please the Quality, Production and Financial managers of the company. Customers will also be pleased by evidence of certified training and will show more confidence in the supplier’s competence. This could result in more purchase orders so the Sales Manager will also be pleased!
In-house training is also an opportunity to make all the trainees familiar with the equipment and materials that they actually use in their own shot peening process. I encourage trainees to use their own Almen gauges and strips, and review their own shot specification and testing equipment. If Intermediate or Advanced level is taken, we discuss the principles of operation of their own peening equipment and how these impact on the quality of the process. This is in addition to the comprehensive course material which is, of course, FAA accepted.
Regarding what can be achieved, I have recently had the privilege of presenting combined courses for all three levels, Basic, Intermediate and Advanced, at different companies. This was a challenge both for me and the trainees, many of whom had no previous knowledge of the process. The three levels were presented over two days, including the examinations required for certification. Overall, the courses were very successful and I received good feed-back from the companies involved. Consideration must be given to what are realistic targets in these circumstances. I would say that the majority of trainees can reach the standard to pass Basic and Intermediate examinations during this time. In order to pass the Advanced level examination usually requires some previous relevant knowledge or experience of a technical or scientific nature. Of course, even without passing the examination, trainees will have the benefit of greater awareness of the technical issues and they retain the MFN training handbook for future reference.
As can be seen, the MFN in-house training courses not only fulfil the mandatory training requirements but also provide real technical and commercial benefits to a company. No previous experience is necessary to gain benefits from the course and, given the right background, trainees can go all the way through to Advanced level in a two-day course.
Author: Paul Huyton