Making sure that the workers who handle your machining equipment are able to use it efficiently, effectively and safely is important.
Hands-on time with the kit can of course help build experience and understanding, but it is better to formalize training in order to make progress.
With that in mind, here are just a few tips to follow if you want to focus your training efforts and achieve the desired results.
Consider the equipment
Whether you have purchased your tools new or snapped them up from a machine sale, you need to make sure that any employees who will be harnessing them are trained in the specific use of the equipment in question.
While machining skills are transferable to an extent, there are quirks and features of individual units that need to be considered and encompassed by training. It is not enough to assume that just because a team member knows how to use a particular make and model of a lathe, they will be adept in the deployment of a milling machine, metal press, or equivalent piece of equipment.
With workplace accidents on the rise, it has never been more important for business owners to take safety seriously. This is especially applicable if you run a workshop or other manufacturing business where machining takes place since the age of CNC tools and increased automation can breed complacency when it comes to safety.
Just because operators are not always required to get as up close and personal with the equipment they use as in bygone decades, you should not neglect the need to train every employee in line with current safety standards.
This is not just about protecting permanent members of the working staff, but also any other site visitors. You must also do your bit by supplying adequate PPE for those workers and visitors who need it.
With so many different training courses available from a cavalcade of providers, one of the main challenges when choosing one to send machinists on to improve their skills is finding the top contender in the field.
This becomes simpler when you look into the accreditation, backing and reputation of the courses on offer. In general, it makes sense to select courses that have the support of a nationally or internationally recognized body, such as the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) or the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA).
The advantages of this are not purely practical, as while workers will certainly attain relevant capabilities and experience by participating in the course, they will also bring benefits to your business as a whole. Operations which are able to boast trained and accredited employees will have a more impressive reputation amongst prospective clients, which is very important when growing a business.
Regular training is sensible
You might assume that once a team member has been trained in the use of equipment, they require no additional instruction over the course of their career going forward. Of course in reality this is not the case, and there is a lot to be gained from scheduling and seeing through subsequent courses of training across the team.
One of the reasons for this is that technologies change and industry standards and practices are also updated quite regularly. Thus the original training an individual receives will eventually become outmoded and need to be refreshed by the latest thinking.
Ultimately, it is beneficial for all involved to ensure that machinists are thoroughly trained throughout their careers, so the most important thing is not to overlook the importance of training if you are a decision-maker.