Training In The Maintenance Field

Today’s Maintenance Industry has one major obstacle, Training. Both “Mechanical Training” and “Safety Training” have been sore spots. With newer, faster and more powerful machinery being used in today’s Industrial Factories, Plants & Work sites, today’s maintenance professional must also become a more knowledgeable and much more aware employee. The risk’s on job sites and in plant facilities is much higher with all the new advancements in machinery. Employee’s simply must keep up with they’re maintenance schedules for each and every machine. Having and practicing Good Preventive / Predictive Maintenance, Reliability-Centered Maintenance and OSHA Regulations – Restrictions -Guidelines are fundamental in todays maintenance field.

A large number of Veteran Maintenance Professionals are now entering retirement, leaving the much younger and less experienced worker to perform maintenance tasks that they may or may not have been properly trained on. Training at this point becomes a vital necessity for each facility and the overall industry. The risk of machines & or lines going down becomes extremely costly, when downtime could have been avoided with the proper training of a Preventive / Predictive Maintenance schedules.

Chuck Mize, a Senior Maintenance Professional and Maintenance Instructor, had this to say when asked what he felt the greatest weakness’s in todays maintenance facilities was? “In many cases the skilled trades man is in direct contrast to the title “Skilled”. In fact they are skilled only at guess work. Most of which are gifted in mechanical reasoning but very lacking in the skill that is necessary to make a correct analysis of machinery breakdown root cause. This is due almost entirely to the low level of training that journey men have available to them.” Mize continues on “For instance in the area of Hydraulics’s. Nearly all industrial mechanics and electrician feel that they understand with some clarity hydraulic systems. However, in my experience most are trying to troubleshoot with only a limited understanding of the fundamentals concerning hydraulics. This leads to poor troubleshooting and ultimately to costly downtime due to ineffective repairs.”

Training, in any field always seems to be a sore spot. However it’s those companies that make room in there budgets and make a point to keep their maintenance staff antiquity trained with the materials needed, that we here and see the best results from. Do Facilities seem to be providing enough training for their maintenance staff? And If not, how could they improve? “In some cases such as PLC’s I think that a great deal of training is done. It is easier to see the need for training on cutting edge technology and therefore in most cases tradesmen are trained in this area. Also, I find that in the electrical fields the younger tradesmen are offered adequate training. However in the fields of Mechanical Power, Drives, Hydraulics, Rigging, and many more. I see a great need. Said Mize.