11 Steps to Successful Automation

Step 9—Operator & Maintenance Training

This is the ninth post in the series of 11-steps to follow to achieve success in automated manufacturing systems. If you’re new to this series, you can start with the first step: When to Automate.

In this post, we’re covering Step 9—Operator & Maintenance Training.

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Step 9: operator and maintenance training

The builder and user should work together to complete training for the employees who will be operating and maintaining the system. The builder and user should decide what skills need to be learned and to what depth.

The complexity of the automation equipment dictates the skill levels required from the technicians and engineers. The manufacturer should evaluate their technical resources to see if they need to invest more in their organization, either through the number of resources or skill levels.

As described in Step 7 – Project Execution, the best form of training is when operators and technicians are involved in the building of the equipment by helping run parts and set up the equipment. This gives them unique perspective on the equipment’s design intent and shortens their learning curve when production starts. When the first system is installed, the user’s employees can be watching and checking their knowledge rather than starting from scratch. Operator and maintenance training typically includes:

  1. All operational aspects including setup and any changeover procedure
  2. Electronic/computer programming
  3. Troubleshooting and repair service training
  4. Preventive maintenance schedule Manuals and other forms of documentation
The user must ensure that only trained personnel operate and maintain the system.

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