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How does the Paulson training system work?

All training is done interactively via a web browser using either Paulson’s LMS (Paulson University) or by loading the training material onto a company’s own LMS. High quality video with 3-D animations of machinery are used to illustrate machine operation and what is happening inside the machine. Questions are asked throughout a training lesson to reinforce the knowledge being taught. Each employee is assigned the courses appropriate for his or her job level. Training records for each employee’s training activity are maintained automatically. They can then be reviewed by supervisors to ensure that scheduled training is being taken.

What is taught in the Paulson interactive courses?

A complete range of information from basic safety and routine operations, to specifics of each plastic’s process, plastics behavior during molding or extrusion, to advanced plastics processing, mold setup and problem solving. Training runs from absolute beginner level to expert level employees.

Is your training up-to-date and relevant with today’s technology?

Absolutely. We pioneered plastics industry training starting way back in the 1970’s. Staying current with both plastics technology and training technology has been a constant throughout the years. We have the largest library of plastics specific training courses available anywhere. Paulson is also renowned for the technical accuracy and our innovative “4 plastics processing variables” approach to teaching which was born from pioneering research done by Don Paulson in the 1960’s and 70’s. We also have the largest installed user base of customers of any plastics training supplier. Our customers get regular updates to existing courses and our development department is flat out with the production of new courses and any updates required to existing courses.

What is a molding simulator?

It is software program that mathematically simulates the behavior of a plastic in the machine and mold. Paulson has developed its own injection molding machine simulator called SimTech Engine which powers both the SkillBuilder lessons and SimTech discovery labs. It allows the user to make any changes in machine controls, plastic, or the mold that can be made on a real machine. The use is shown the results of the changes visually and graphically and the program automatically calculates part dimensions and problems that may occur. In fact, each “cycle” on the simulator involves over 15 million separate mathematical calculations. This allows the user to make changes and observe very accurate outcomes from those changes. It is “hands on” molding using a computer. Think of a “Flight Simulator” for injection molding.

What is the difference between SkillBuilder Lab Lessons and SimTech Discovery Lab Lessons?

The SkillBuilder Lab Lessons are an introduction to simulation learning. They are integrated into each online lesson of Paulson’s Technology of Injection Molding Level 1 course allowing the student to apply and practice learned concepts in a virtual molding machine environment. As the name implies, each lesson builds upon itself. The user experiences molding simulation through a guided set of instructions. 

After mastering the SkillBuilder Lab Lessons within each course, students then enter into the SimTech Discovery Labs portion of learning. This type of learning within the SimTech Lab lessons is called discovery-based learning, taking the student deeper into developing problem solving, analysis, and critical thinking skills. In the SimTech Discovery Labs, the students are presented with various problems to solve based on concepts learned. The approach in these labs is more free-form. Each student must workout and formulate their own solutions by making machine control adjustments and cycling the machine to view results.  Along the way, each student is presented with insightful tips and check-in points to help keep learning on track.

Our new hires learn from our in-house experienced molders. What is the downside of this approach?

In the old days, yes, on-the-job training with an experienced employee was the default training method. It unfortunately still is at some companies. Today, the “art” of plastics processing is all but gone. Plastics processing is a science and should be learned that way. New as well as experienced molders can now learn and use accurate information not available in the past. Paulson Training routinely can develop excellent molders in months instead of years using the latest in training technology.

What is a typical ROI for Paulson training courses?

Studies have shown that a typical ROI for our customers is 3 to 6 months.

How has ROI been measured?

There is only one way to accurately measure ROI. That is conducting a before and after training analysis of hard production metrics. If you don’t have a firm grasp of your key production metrics before training begins then ROI calculation is impossible. Key production metrics typically include changes in cycle times, downtime, and reject rates. Depending on your starting point, long term efficiency gains from a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce can range from 5% – 25% gains in total output.

What are the other benefits of training?

Less tangible but important side benefits of training are improvements in the personnel morale when the plant runs more smoothly, less conflict among the “experts” who each learned different (sometimes incorrect) lessons from their molding experience, on time shipments, less mold damage.

What are the benefits of production floor personnel training for managers and supervisors?

Managers and supervisors benefit when problems caused by poorly trained or untrained personnel are avoided. Additionally, they benefit when the problems that do occur are solved on the production floor without supervisor involvement. Problem solving is pushed down to lower level employees, overall problems are reduced and management becomes easier with a Paulson trained workforce.

Doesn’t training take a lot of time? We’re too busy to train.

Our interactive training is taken one lesson at a time.  Typically, it takes anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes to complete one lesson depending on the lesson and the ability of the learner. Disruptions to your production schedule are minimal. The advantages gained by training your workforce far outweigh maintaining the status quo due to perceived “time” issues. Some companies choose to pay employees extra time for training. Others find ways to cover floor responsibilities for an hour or two. Either way, you come out way ahead of not implementing training. You will also find that you have some employees with the motivation to take training on their own time. These are the future “stars” you want to nurture and advance in your organization.

What training records are kept?

All training records are kept within the training platform and are accessible to Administrative level personnel who require it. The reporting options are very extensive. They are useful for measuring training results, potential for advancement, and to maintain as legal records in case of an accident. They are also ideal for ISO and QS documentation purposes.

Can a standard injection molding course teach what my employees need to know?

If you melt plastic in a heating barrel, inject into a mold and cool the plastic, we teach the process. Plastic behaves according to known scientific principles. The actual part being molded, whether it’s a closure, automotive trim or a medical device does not change the laws of plastic behavior. Flow rate, cooling rate, heat and pressure are the only four variables that affect plastic behavior. Of course, the machine does not have 4 knobs for directly controlling those variables. That is where technical training bridges the gap.

If I invest in training for employees, won’t they leave for another job?

Perhaps. But turnover is inevitable anyway. Also, people who work in a productive, well-run plant are much more satisfied than those who work in inefficient and chaotic production environments. Happy employees are far more likely to stay at their employer. In addition, the consideration and investment shown by management to employees when a training program is implemented creates a sense of loyalty and security that one’s interests are taken seriously and responsibly by management. Lastly, if an employee does leave, your in-plant training system can produce a new fully qualified and trained employee faster than ever before.

Some of my employees do not want to take training.

That’s fine and can be addressed at a corporate policy level. It is a virtual certainty that employees who undergo training will be more valuable to your organization in the long term.

Is there recognition for the employees who complete training?

Paulson offers various certification levels to employees that satisfactorily complete specific courses. Paulson certification is a recognized credential that you either have or will see on prospective employees’ resumes. Certification is a great way to recognize accomplishment as well as create an organized hierarchy of employee skill sets that is fair to all.

“To help plastics manufacturers train all of their employees faster, cheaper and easier than any other training alternative even if those employees have no prior manufacturing or plastics industry experience.”

To empower your work force.


Very informative. You will understand how material affects molding!

Cynthia Miller

“Great, excellent, easy-to-use, interesting, challenging, engaging, organized, informative, helpful, solutions oriented, accurate, effective, flexible, confidence building and worthwhile.”

John W. Stebelton

“Paulson has built confidence, a sense of accomplishment & pride in our workers, something they can take to the floor and apply!”

Gene Shuret
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