Training Topics Page
Joel Leonard says career and technical education can fill the gap in American school systems.
Plant personnel receive training on plant assets during their free time.
Mike Bacidore, chief editor, says gaming interfaces are finding their way to the plant floor.
Grainger CEO Jim Ryan discusses what his company is doing about the shortage of skilled tradespeople.
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Polk State College helps close manufacturing skills gap
In 2005, Florida's manufacturers faced losing skilled craftspeople to retirement and other local manufacturers because of a limited skilled labor pool in the region. Unfortunately, as the Baby-Boomer generation retires from an increasingly high-tech workplace, the shortage of employees with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills is growing worse every year. Without the proper training programs in place, companies simply have no way to fill the labor pipeline.
Educational institutions are vital to reversing this trend. But simply getting more students into colleges isn't enough. They must learn the right skills, select the right disciplines and make the right connections to link them with good jobs.
Polk State College's (PSC) Corporate College, based in central Florida, understands the importance of training the next generation of manufacturing employees. PSC offers a variety of classes to help students learn the skills they need to succeed in manufacturing positions.
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Virtual reality training program
Author: Maurizio Rovaglio, Tobias Scheele and Norbert Jung
One of the key challenges that capital-intensive industries will face over the next five years is replacing the gray-haired workforce with the computer-savvy/gaming generation. High-fidelity operator trainer simulators that represent the production process, control system and the control room interface have proved to be very effective for control room operations training. However, for the remaining 50% of the plant start-up procedures that are executed in the field, no fully interactive training environment has been available — until now.
Industries like oil and gas, refining and power companies need to institutionalize their workforce knowledge in more efficient and effective ways. Leveraging virtual reality (VR) models to improve time-to-competency in critical areas like safety, environment protection systems, knowledge, performance training and reliability provides a vehicle to rapidly train the new workforce in ways that align with their interests and skills.
With continuing advances in hardware and software techniques, Virtual reality (VR) is accessible today as the best aid to multimedia training, process design, maintenance, safety etc., which are currently based around conventional two-dimensional (2-D) equipment views.
The real-time rendering of equipment views puts demands on processor time, and so the use of high fidelity simulators is becoming more and more of a standard in process understanding and training. Within many VR commercial projects in the past, the results have either been unrealistically slow or oversimplified to the detriment of the solution effectiveness. As the technology continues to develop, these issues are being eliminated, giving way to a new process simulation era that is based on commercially standard IT hardware.
Evolving best practices through simulation-based training: Training the field operator of the future
Author: Dennis Nash and Ronald Smith
Simulators are widely recognized as essential to process control training as they facilitate the propagation of a company's standard operating procedures (SOPs). This paper explores the use of process control simulators by Chevron Products Company to challenge existing corporate SOPs and to help achieve improvements in overall production performance.
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