Dear Editor, First off, I'd like to thank you for your engaging article "Effective Education" published online on Oct. 19 and written by Larry Haftl. [Editor's Note: This article also was published in the October issue of American Machinist]
Your article identifies a number of key issues and positive trends regarding training in the manufacturing industry. Our company's experience with manufacturers also seems to support the fact that companies are starting to spend for effective training if it addresses the actual needs of people and fills the gap between the increasing skill-level demands and the decreasing experience and exposure to those skills.
I'd also like to thank you for identifying Tooling University as an effective solution for manufacturing training, but I wanted to add some important key points to elaborate on how we are approaching training. As the article points out, there are two challenges to online training: 1) customizing the material to user needs, and 2) providing interactive and enriched learning material.
To tackle the first issue, we have created various Flash-based interactive tools. Your article mentions the new 57 scenario-based training labs, and this is a key addition to the non-CNC material. However, our CNC control-specific classes also have new Flash-based control simulators for the GE Fanuc and Haas controls. These simulators walk users through common tasks such as changing offsets, loading and saving programs, etc. We also will develop similar material on the Mazatrol control in early 2007.
To tackle the second issue of customizing the material, we have recently organized our training according to job titles such as "CNC Lathe Operator," "Mechanical Inspector," "Assembler: Electrical," and so on. Each job title contains focused training classes from a range of subjects relevant to the position. Most importantly, each user takes a comprehensive assessment before beginning the training that identifies the individual's particular knowledge gaps. We recently released new maintenance-related classes on electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic/pneumatic systems. Also, we expect to begin releasing classes on manual soldering, motor controls, PLCs, and press brake operation in early 2007.
Again, thank you for addressing trends in online manufacturing training. I hope this information helps to provide additional useful information.
Best regards, Greg Herlevi Director of Content Development Tooling University LLC www.toolingu.com