For professionals dealing with highly specialised mechanical components like rolling bearings, a general technical understanding of the products can help them improve productivity and cut costs. Unfortunately, the “formal education” at technical schools hardly covers the practical skills needed for the industry. To fill this void, many leading bearing manufacturers offer specialised training courses.
Generally, any company dealing with bearings benefits from such training programs — optimised efficiency at workplace and motivated employees are just two of the direct results of appropriate training.
For machinery manufacturers, design and product development engineers can maximise equipment performance and minimize the life-cycle costs by optimal design of bearing locations. In one case, after acquiring adequate knowledge, a product design engineer could save 50 percent costs on one bearing location without sacrificing performance.
Equipment end-users can profit from bearing training too. According to experts, human errors are a major cause of equipment failures. Correct handling of bearings — such as storage, lubrication, and mounting/dismounting — not only ensures less bearing damage and longer bearing service life, but also results in lower maintenance costs, improved safety and more equipment uptime.
Not only engineers and technicians benefit from bearing knowledge. Commercial personnel such as sales and purchasing professionals can improve their job performance through bearing training. For example, a buyer can reduce costs by choosing a technically equivalent product variant for the application, or sourcing bearings from an alternative supplier with equal quality.
How to choose bearing training
First of all, the training needs and goals of a company should be identified. It has to be determined who should be trained in which fields. Next, the training has to be incorporated into the staff-training plan. The following factors should be considered when choosing a bearing training program:
- Reliable training provider: Reputable bearing manufacturers, such as NKE, offer well-organised training seminars to business partners.
- Curriculum design: Ask the training provider for a curriculum outline. You should find out whether the courses are targeted to your employees (commercial, technical or workshop personnel), as well as the breadth, depth and structure of the courses. If the standard modules do not completely suit your needs, ask for customised courses.
- Instruction methods: Usually bearing training is conducted in small classroom groups (maximum 10 to 15 people) for a dedicated learning environment and individual attention. Visual aids and handout notes should be provided. For practical topics such as bearing handling, hands-on exercises should be included.
- Instructors: The instructors should possess a combination of solid theoretical foundation and practical experience in bearing applications. They should be competent in knowledge sharing and training.
Learning does not stop when training is over. What has been taught in the classroom must be practised in the real world. Depending on programs, the trainees should show improved performance within days to months after the training. The post-training evaluation should be taken into consideration when planning for the next programs.
Training is an investment in productivity. It equips technical and commercial professionals with the essential knowledge to enhance their job performance. For the company, it means optimized product development, reduced procurement and maintenance costs, increased facility uptime, enhanced safety, employee loyalty and customer satisfaction. All these contribute to the long-term success of a business.
This is an edited article provided by NKE. In Canada, NKE products are distributed through Global Bear Inc.