Interactive training for injection molding and extrusion companies is a very effective and widely adopted method for improving the knowledge and job skills at all job levels on your production floor. However, since an interactive training program is essentially self-contained (i.e. no instructor required), the course must be very well designed and presented. Here are 4 important criteria that you should consider when evaluating an interactive training program for your employees…
1. Organization – The information should be presented in a step-by-step manner where each lesson build on the knowledge and skills taught in previous lessons. In interactive training it is vital that your employees be given all of the knowledge and skills they need to do the job you hired them to do. Poor organization or gaps in the information being taught takes away from the value of the interactive training method because the employee gets incomplete training and (unlike a classroom course) has nowhere to go to correct the problem.
2. Information/Questions Presentation – The basic elements of interactive training used in a typical injection molding, extrusion or blow molding plant are:
- The presentation of information
- Questions that test the employee’s understanding and knowledge retention
Both the information being taught and (just as important) the questions asked must be accurate and relevant to the overall goal of the course. Questions should test the employee’s understanding, not his or her ability to repeat what was just said.
3. Accuracy – Obviously, you want the information in any training program to be accurate and up-to-date. One test of accuracy is to ask the question “Can this be proven?”. In the technology of injection molding for example, opinion without proof is usually not helpful to a student and should be avoided.
4. Completeness – The information must be complete. Your employees should be taught injection molding and/or extrusion operating procedures that will allow them to become skilled and productive quickly. Even for basic injection molding skills the information in your training program should cover the basic structure of plastics, causes of degradation, operation of the injection molding machine, the function of each molding machine control, the molding cycle, behavior of the plastic during molding, proper handing of plastic raw materials and molded parts, injection molded part defects and of course, safety. The same applies to extrusion operator training.
If you have any other suggestions or tips on what has worked well in your plant, please leave us a comment below.