Festo Germany recently created an international training partnership with Inergy Automotive.
Through a partnership between Inergy and Festo, Inergy’s headquarters selected a number of English speaking countries as pilot countries to start Hydraulics training sessions, one of which was South Africa. The local office of Inergy Automotive is based in Brits and a customized Hydraulics course was tailored and conducted for them by the highly experienced Festo Didactic trainer, Charles Eckley. Technical Manager for Inergy Automotive, Johan Lourens, sent a report to Festo Didactic South Africa and Inergy’s headquarters in Germany confirming that Inergy Brits received a very informative and well presented Hydraulics Training Course from Festo.
“They were given even more practical training than was captured in the training documentation,” says Lourens. A number of existing problems and concerns were raised and they received a lot of insight and recommendations in this regard. Eckley also did a lot of preparation visits to the plant prior to the training course to ensure that the training presented, was in line with their needs. “Despite having a torn back muscle, Eckley demonstrated his commitment by continuing the course and with his excellent sense of humor, kept the class in good spirit,” Lourens said.
The course was structured to address the following main topics, as required by Inergy Automotive:
- Basic hydraulics
- Safety when working with hydraulics – LOTO
- Proportional hydraulics
- Hydraulic maintenance and problem solving
- Plastic blow molding
Machines specific to the equipment used at their premises. As most of the Maintenance Technicians are qualified as electricians, the Hydraulics of the Plastic Blow Molding Machine was a foreign concept. “It was very important to start with the basics to ensure that we got the best results from the training,” explains Lourens.
The training was 50% theory and 50% practical and therefore not just reading the book and listening to a trainer but going to the next step of practical connection exercises on the test banks. Festo transported their training rigs to Brits and set them up for just this purpose at Inergy’s premises. The pilot project test results indicated that the average knowledge of the participants at Inergy Brits had increased from 51%, to an average of 82% with the lowest score increasing from 29%, to a significant 70%.
“We are pleased that such positive feedback was received from Inergy Brits,” concludes Eckley. Based on these results, Inergy’s German headquarters have decided to do an international roll-out of the Didactic project to the rest of the Inergy plants worldwide.