Employee training has always been important for the effectiveness of industrial maintenance activities. In particular, training processes allow maintenance workers and engineers to increase knowledge and skills that help them understand and improve the way they perform their maintenance tasks.
Training has always been a complementary asset, and could be considered a prerequisite for the productivity of maintenance workers and processes. Recently, the interest in the training of maintenance employees has been increasing for two main reasons:
Along these general lines, let’s explore the scope and importance of training tasks.
Training in the Industry 4.0 era is more important than ever before for a number of reasons, including:
The design of training programs should address most of the above needs. In principle, the design of training programs is driven by a number of factors, including:
The design of a program leads to the specification of the training curriculum, as well as of the length and frequency of delivery. It should also specify the target groups of the training (e.g., maintenance engineers, machine operators, Industrial software programmers, and repair workers). It should also specify whether the training is mandatory or optional for some employees or subcontractors engaging in maintenance tasks.
The planning and delivery of training programs require engagement and commitment of various stakeholders, including:
Modern technologies provide opportunities for more effective training. Prominent examples include:
In one of these case studies, AR led to 32% average productivity improvement in some plant processes.Heartwood3d provides a wide range of VR training solutions, including solutions for maintenance and repair operations. The company’s solutions provide a host of advanced training possibilities, including both learning how to repair machines without being in the plant and on-the-job training via visual instructions in a portable device (such as a tablet). The interactivity of the solutions leads to increased effectiveness, while their delivery in mobile devices and on the basis of AR/VR modalities separates the trainee from a certain location (such as a classroom or a plant for on-the-job training).
At the end of the day, enterprises care about their bottom lines. Training also yields an economic benefit. Some managers view training as an investment that cannot be always justified. However, well-planned training yields a positive ROI. This is reflected in the above-mentioned productivity improvements, worker safety, and in alleviating risks associated with equipment failure. In most cases, a risk management exercise can demonstrate tangible benefits.
Beyond the direct benefits for the enterprise, training is also beneficial for the workers, as it helps them improve their knowledge and gradual transition to the high-skill jobs of the Industry 4.0 era. Maintenance training boosts performance at work and overall industrial productivity, which often leads to higher wages.
Are you already planning your next maintenance training program? If so, you might want to consider some of the program design tips and technology suggestions above.