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© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 1 | P a g e
Technical Training in a
Manufacturing Environment
A White Paper by Charles ...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 2 | P a g e
The historically, the poor approach to training by equipment vendors breeds...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 3 | P a g e
Standardization and Technical Documentation
The development of critical equ...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 4 | P a g e
JPAs are designed to be used "on-the-job" by the performer as a guide to th...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 5 | P a g e
OJT is a process whereby the learner is instructed to watch a performer com...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 6 | P a g e
Job specific training, also called performance-based training, is an integr...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 7 | P a g e
training is designed to engineer human behavior which cannot be achieved th...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 8 | P a g e
procedure, and a demonstration of how the procedure is performed by a techn...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 9 | P a g e
How Trainees are Trained
In general, the following preliminary sequence of ...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 10 | P a g e
9. The above process is repeated until all module job tasks have been pres...
© 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 11 | P a g e
practice the skills comprising their jobs on actual running equipment. All...
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Training in a Manufacturing Environment

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Competence of both production and maintenance workers is critical to manufacturing excellence. Technical training in manufacturing environments requires a precise measured approach to achieve competence. We invite you all to read our attached White Paper - "Technical Training in a Manufacturing Environment."

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Training in a Manufacturing Environment

  1. 1. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 1 | P a g e Technical Training in a Manufacturing Environment A White Paper by Charles H. Paul of C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. August 2014 Introduction It has been said that competence is the dominant factor for any initiative for which there is an expectation of success. This is particularly true of Lean and those initiatives that are targeted for the shop floor. Up until a few short years ago, one of the most valuable of all production resources was routinely neglected - Human Capital. Well-designed and developed technical training on the shop floor is essential to meeting competitive challenges. To be effective, technical training must be specific to each worker’s job and the equipment with which he/she works. Unfortunately, technical training programs for technical workers in many companies ... do not exist! Poor Vendor Training Operations managers (having never been taught in business or engineering school of the importance and principles of adult learning) generally do not understand what is necessary to generate worker competence. As a result, they usually do not require equipment suppliers to produce training that works. Indeed, most managers are unable to distinguish between detailed task-based training and the illusion of training, which consists of a cursory technical overview of the product or system. Most equipment vendors provide minimal training, or training that is substandard. They also sell in a commodity environment (selling mainly on price or acquisition cost alone). If the quality of training were to be improved, they believe, equipment prices would have to increase. Additionally, many equipment suppliers/vendors have and experience significant profitability providing equipment service using their own technicians. In this case, customer technological ignorance is a profit opportunity for the vendor. Hence, there is no real motivation to provide successful technical training.
  2. 2. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 2 | P a g e The historically, the poor approach to training by equipment vendors breeds incompetence on the shop floor, results in significant start-up problems, poor equipment utilization, high defect rates, and many other major manufacturing problems that influence productivity and profit. Non-Functional Equipment Manuals As with vendor training, most manuals are written in “technobabble” from the point of view of design engineers. They contain little necessary information, such as detailed troubleshooting, complete detailed procedures for completing essential maintenance and repair of the equipment delivered, and specific information concerning how equipment functions, is controlled, and interrelates with other essential equipment. Many times, these manuals do not even reflect the configuration/model of the equipment that they accompany. These technical manuals are rarely sufficient to support the operation. They simply......do not do the job. Poorly designed vendor documentation results in long frustrating hours of trial-and- error diagnostics and repair, and dramatic waste and inefficiencies. Exact job task procedures required to operate and maintain complex state-of-the-art equipment and controls are often left to inexperienced personnel who lack the training to develop these essential materials. The Solution The solution consists of developing training that supports the performance of actual job tasks on actual equipment designed to Optimal and not just Acceptable operating parameters. Generic training such as “Introduction to Hydraulics and Pneumatics,” does not produce the transference of job-specific skills to actual situations that is critical to sustained efficient operations. Workers, particularly in a Lean Enterprise, must be competent to operate and maintain their equipment, their processes, and their systems and not some abstract academic representation of a simulated system or process. Four tools that are required to improve worker competence in the workplace include Standardization, Technical Documentation, Performance-Based Technical Training, and Certification.
  3. 3. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 3 | P a g e Standardization and Technical Documentation The development of critical equipment documentation should always begin with the intent to standardize operations and develop “Best Practice” methods. Subject Matter Experts should always be used to create the documents with all procedures being developed from direct observation of performance. An iterative process of technical reviews by a panel of experts should always be conducted to ensure that “Best Practice” approved methods are created. The regulatory compliance function should always be represented on this panel to guarantee compliance to all applicable regulations. Technical documentation, as stated, should always depict the thought processes of the “expert user.” These “Best Practice” documents should always be produced in Job Performance Aid (JPA) formats for ease of use (within the boundaries of the organization’s document templates and management systems). These documents can be either paper-based or electronic as applicable with the electronic presentation and accessibility of these documents being the most desirable. Without technical documentation, technical training and process control is difficult if not impossible to accomplish since the details required to operate and maintain the factory simply cannot be mastered through rote memory. The use of JPAs enhances and elevates the ability and capability of the worker to that of expert performer - producing virtually flawless execution. Job performance aids (JPAs) are diagrams, checklists, procedures, etc. that document and standardize essential job procedures (troubleshooting problems, start-up and shut down of equipment, remove, replace, adjust, repair etc.). These JPAs are essential to the trainee's quick internalization of learned skills and critical job knowledge. Job performance aids in the broader sense can be considered user support "tools", which incorporate the decision-making and procedural thought processes of an expert user and place those skills in the hands of the novice/inexperienced worker. JPAs detail all of the essential job tasks and activities performed by a worker to include troubleshooting.
  4. 4. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 4 | P a g e JPAs are designed to be used "on-the-job" by the performer as a guide to the performance of a given task. The use of JPAs in training accelerates training well beyond the training times expected when more traditional training methods are used. The performance aid provides a bridge between training and work that is missing from most learning experiences. The role of the job performance aid is to trigger the memory concerning what was taught during the training process. The categories of procedures that are typically produced should include but not be limited to:  Equipment Operation  Start-Up And Shutdown  Loading Materials  Operational Adjustments  Clearing Jams  Removing, Replacing, Rebuilding, And Adjusting Key Components  Monitoring Production  Changeover and Setup  Cleaning and sanitization  Quality Checks  Preventive Maintenance  GMPs and Safety Performance-Based Training Job specific technical training is and must be …… performance-based. This component provides workers with (1) the general system/equipment/process knowledge that is an essential prerequisite to the learning of any system task and (2) the skills and knowledge needed to perform job/machine specific operational and maintenance tasks. Certification insures that trainees are able to perform learned tasks after training prior to being assigned to the production environment. A critical aspect of this training is the melding of classroom and “real-world” job practice essential to the mastery of skills taught. This approach is not OJT or On-the-Job Training. The word “training” in this context is actually an oxymoron because it is not training at all. OJT which has been the preferred training method for hundreds of years, is still used today in many disguised forms and it is the preferred training process of most technical management because it is perceived to have no associated costs...it is assumed to be free!
  5. 5. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 5 | P a g e OJT is a process whereby the learner is instructed to watch a performer complete a task where it is expected that through osmosis, the learner will suddenly be able to execute to the level of the observed performer. This cannot be farther from the truth. The negatives of OJT are significant:  Very long skill mastery time – up to 10 times as long than with performance- based training  There is no consistency in the skill/task message – each worker “trainer” may or may not perform the task in the same way and in fact, may actually demonstrate the task incorrectly (sequence, tool use, regulatory requirement, etc.) perpetuating the inconsistencies and errors.  Negative attitudes passed down through the work force.  OJT does not rely upon documentation as the basis for consistent presentation requiring the learner to rely on memory our most unreliable human sense to remember complex and numerous process steps…flawlessly.  Training costs are extremely high albeit not officially documented and expensed as training (unnecessary equipment downtime, rework, equipment damage, unnecessary parts usage, and impacted quality, equipment utilization, regulatory failures, and safety issues), resulting from inadequately trained individuals being permitted to operate/maintain a machine system or control a process. Training Design Job specific worker training is not generic training such as how mechanical systems IN GENERAL function. Job specific or system specific training provides operators, mechanics, and technicians with the skills and knowledge to operate and maintain specific/actual systems and equipment. The primary objective of this process is to provide the work force with the skills and knowledge needed to operate, maintain, and repair equipment efficiently and effectively from the first day on the job. Traditional generic training is very long term in duration, relies very heavily upon memorization, and places the burden of learning upon the learner. Job specific training on the other hand, utilizes standardized job procedures and visually interactive programs to present essential system knowledge in an interesting format.
  6. 6. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 6 | P a g e Job specific training, also called performance-based training, is an integrated training system that utilizes a blend of instructional strategies to present technical job and machine/equipment/process skill and knowledge information to a trainee. The ultimate goal of any performance-based system is trainee mastery of learned skills and knowledge to an acceptable level of performance in the shortest time possible. Job performance aids, though not a direct component of training (as previously described), are an essential tool used extensively during the training process. Most traditional training methods used with adult workers fail because those methods require the trainee to almost exclusively rely on memory to retain information presented. Adults retain a maximum of 40% of what is seen and heard. This retention percentage can be increased to 90% by having the trainee respond to relevant questions concerning the material, by providing task reference material to the trainee in the form of job performance aids for use on the job, and by actually requiring the trainee to perform key tasks presented. This is accomplished by segregating information into small learning segments that require the trainee to see and hear information, respond to questions (in workbooks or directly to the instructor) concerning that information, and actually perform critical tasks on line equipment. There is an inextricable link between technical training and technical documentation. Because of the interrelationship and criticality of the training tasks, a competency demonstration called certification, is required at various intervals during training to insure mastery of skills taught and progression from one learning level to another. This certification/performance testing process is accomplished by the trainee as he/she successfully performs job tasks during actual or simulated work situations while under direct observation of the instructor with performance measured to an objective standard. Training Components - General Training Administration This training requires presentation and management by certified technical trainers who are technically competent with the equipment they are training on. Performance-based training must be administered to a precise plan/process/procedure for expected results to be realized. Performance-based
  7. 7. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 7 | P a g e training is designed to engineer human behavior which cannot be achieved through non-standardized training approaches. Instructors must attend and be certified to administer the program. They must be provided with a detailed instructor’s guide that exactly specifies the sequence of training, training content to be presented, and the testing methodologies to be used to measure trainee mastery of skill and knowledge. Training Components The primary components of a job specific training program include:  Technical Overview Training  Procedure Training  Supervised Job Practice  Certification Tests  Train-the-Trainer Technical Overview One or more technical overview training modules covering all of the “How it Works” and “Location and Function” information about the equipment should be developed to provide workers with solid equipment/process/system information concerning the individual components comprising the equipment, and the critical tasks and activities performed by workers as they interact with that equipment. The technical overview orients trainees to the equipment and establishes the vocabulary unique to the system. Knowledge checks/tests are used by the instructor to gauge trainee mastery of the equipment knowledge presented. Exposure to the actual equipment in the working environment is provided during this period of training to orient the trainee to the subject matter and provide a “real-world” link between knowledge presentation and application. Procedure Training Procedure training should be provided based upon the technical documentation developed as a precursor to the start of training. This training should include a discussion of how the technical documents are accessed and used, a review of each
  8. 8. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 8 | P a g e procedure, and a demonstration of how the procedure is performed by a technically competent instructor. Supervised Job Practice As a component of training, supervised job practice provides trainees with an opportunity to practice learned skills under the supervision of the instructor guided by the technical documentation provided. Certification Certification is a performance testing process that insures trainees have mastered all skills and knowledge presented in the training package and that provides the instructor(s) with feedback concerning which trainees need remedial help. This deliverable is supported by certification checklists and detailed instructor procedures. Certification checklists are developed for every job function effected by the training program and systems documentation (JPA's). The checklists are used to measure what a trainee has learned, the skills he/she has mastered, and where additional emphasis is needed. An individual certification checklist is not a "pass/fail" testing instrument. The checklist is an integral component of performance-based training that is designed to identify those areas of the instruction requiring trainer initiated remedial work. Unsatisfactory performance of any test item would result in additional training/remediation and retesting. The emphasis of this phase of the process is upon "trainee success". Progression through Training It is critical to understand that performance-based training is modular requiring a performance-based demonstration of module content by the trainee before advancement to the next module in the curriculum. Performance-based training is designed to be presented from the “general” to the “specific” (the best way in which adults learn) which infers that each module in the curriculum hierarchy contains increasingly more complex technical content requiring the mastery of the previous module before advancing on to the next. Modularity requires that as well as the technical knowledge component, each procedure must be organized and presented in ever advancing levels of complexity.
  9. 9. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 9 | P a g e How Trainees are Trained In general, the following preliminary sequence of training activity is used to present relevant information. 1. The trainee completes the first applicable technical overview module of training. 2. At specified intervals during the program, the trainee must complete a knowledge check to demonstrate mastery of the equipment knowledge presented before being permitted to advance to the next training module. 3. Trainee observes segment of the process presented in training on actual equipment - instructor points out key operating elements. 4. The instructor presents the first applicable job performance aid to the trainees and explains its use. 5. The instructor demonstrates the skill or explains the concept as detailed in the job performance aid. 6. Trainee practices job tasks under the supervision of the instructor using job guides, aids, etc. 7. Once an opportunity to practice has been provided (until the trainee feels comfortable performing and has been observed successfully practicing the task), the instructor begins the job certification process to insure mastery of learned skills. 8. Trainee demonstrates the procedure to standard (100% accuracy using the job performance aid) under the formal observation of the instructor. If the trainee does not meet standard, the trainee must repeat the supervised job practice step before attempting certification again.
  10. 10. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 10 | P a g e 9. The above process is repeated until all module job tasks have been presented and mastered. 10. Successful completion of a module (to include certification) is prerequisite for advancement to the next module in the program Case Study Performance-based training as described has a direct impact on organizational performance. The following case study serves to illustrate this point. In the early 1980’s a well-known consumer products manufacturer manufactured disposable diapers. The first plant producing this product was located in the mid-West and was built as a “green field” site in 1986. There were 10 diaper manufacturing lines running a two-shift operation for five days. Each diaper maker was capable of producing 240 diapers/minute. Operators and mechanics were trained on the equipment by engineers and manufacturing reps during setup. These initial operators and mechanics then trained the next crews and so on until the entire workforce was “trained.” There was no formal training, no testing of any kind, and no standard operating procedures for how the equipment would be run and maintained. Planning values for this equipment for the first year were set as follows:  Production (shippable) = 44,928,000 units  Expected Operating Efficiency = 75% First year operating results were much less than expected. Significant downtime resulted from long changeover times, catastrophic failure because of improper operating actions (raw material loading, adjustments, troubleshooting, start-up and shutdown), and failures and breakdowns because of improper maintenance. These results are shown below:  Actual Production (shippable) = 28,154,000 units  Actual Operating Efficiency = 47% It took an additional six months to reach the initial planning values. A second plant was built and equipped in the East three years after the first. The equipment, raw materials, and line configurations were exactly the same as in the mid-West. The only difference between the first plant and the second was the development of comprehensive training materials for operators and mechanics, standard operating and maintenance procedures, and certification checklists. Operators, mechanics, and supervisors were trained and certified BEFORE they were permitted to operate the equipment unsupervised. They had extensive opportunity to
  11. 11. © 2014 C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. 11 | P a g e practice the skills comprising their jobs on actual running equipment. All trainees were certified through comprehensive formal training and performance testing. First year results were as follows:  Production (shippable) = 53,913,600 units  Operating Efficiency = 90% The differences in first year operating efficiencies between both plants were significant with planning values being exceeded at the new plant by 15%....FROM THE FIRST DAY OF OPERATION! An aside to this case study is that the plant training staff had two diaper making machines assigned to them for their exclusive use during training. The quality of the diapers produced by trainees during training met all plant quality requirements and were able to be sold as production. Production produced during training funded training department activities on a recurring yearly basis. C. H. Paul Consulting, Inc. is a consulting organization located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania just celebrating their 25th anniversary in business. Their client base extends throughout the Fortune 500 particularly within regulated industries. They can be contacted at 7370 Ventnor Drive, Tobyhanna, PA 18466 – 570-216- 45712 – 908-794-9247 – cpaul19436@aol.com – www.chpaulconsultinginc.com

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