In April, our edgebanding manager visited our manufacturing partner, IMA Schelling, at their US factory to get first hand training from the tech specialists on some new features and additional capabilities to bring back to our plant and educate our other managers and edgebanding team members.
Over the years, we have consistently invested in improving and expanding our capabilities through purchasing state-of-the-art machinery. A huge part of using the machines to their full potential is understanding the ins and outs of each one. One way we ensure the proper training is done is by taking advantage of the tech experts from the machine manufacturers. Machine specific tech training serves as a great way for the managers to make sure they have the most current and accurate information they need to help their team run the machine efficiently and troubleshoot as problems arise.
The education process we implemented in our plant following the tech training our edgebanding manager received was a new method for us, but one that we intend on continuing in the future. The goal was to train all of our plant managers to have both general operator and tech level training. So, we spent the day training every manager to operate the machine as if they were a brand-new employee hired on the edgeband team. The outcome is redundancy in our team's knowledge and ability to run the edgebander, which is one of our highest traffic machines.
The general operator training includes several steps in the standard operating procedure, such as:
- Loading the tape and adjusting tape settings in the magazine
- Confirming the analog dial on the pressure beam matches the program.
- Operator adjustments: Mechanical (pre-mil, table adjustments and flat scraper adjustments)
- Program adjustments: Tool assignments (command positions for vertical and horizontal adjustments for each tool)
- Direction of adjustment and the effect on parts
After the general operator training, the managers got more in-depth knowledge in tech level training. The tech level training teaches how to troubleshoot and check each section to ensure everything is within tolerance. In addition, the training provides the skills to adjust each part and section and the effect on parts. The tech level training includes:
- Infeed pin adjustment
- Fence alignment
- Pre-mil alignment
- Glue pot alignment
- Main pressure roller alignment and adjustment
- Idle roller pressure and caber adjustment
- Leading and trailing saw adjustment
- Tracing shoe alignment and pressure adjustment
- Using a dial indicator to check bearing wear and blade runout of the saw shafts
- Flat scraper alignment and pitch adjustment
- Main pressure beam adjustment using 5mm of deflection on rollers to calibrate correct pressure of workholding
Finally, the managers received training on programming the edgebander. At the tech training, our edgebanding manager learned about how to program the machine more efficiently by using universal programs, rather than creating application specific programming. The operator now simply selects the program from a drop down list. This will reduce the potential for operator error by eliminating the need to change specs in the program for certain jobs.
Since we did the training and implemented what our team learned, we have experienced a significant increase in productivity from the universal programming. In addition to productivity, there has been a decrease in human error caused by incorrect programming. Lastly, we have improved our ability to adjust and align the machine which has dramatically decreased the amount of parts getting scratched or nicked while in the machine.
It's one thing for us to make capital investments in our capabilities, but it’s another thing to invest in our team’s capabilities. Ultimately, everything we do to educate our team and improve the way we do things is for our customers. Read more about our current capabilities here. Don’t forget to stay tuned for more updates as we continue to expand our capabilities throughout the year.
To learn more about Laminate Works and how we could help you grow your business, visit our new customer page and fill out our 5 question survey to see if there's a good fit for us to work together.