Survey takers speak out

Upskilling was at the center of an online survey conducted by Packaging World in early 2007 that drew more than 200 respondents. Here are some responses to the question, What technologies would you like to have schools teaching to support your packaging machine maintenance operations?

• We are looking for mechanical electrical technicians who enjoy working on the production floor. Needed are a general mechanical aptitude with the basics in pneumatics along with electrical training and PLC troubleshooting. We also need self-directed individuals.

• It’s critical at the high-school level to teach more Microsoft classes and information about plastics and other packaging.

• Troubleshooting techniques for all technologies.

• Teach mechatronics—workers must be able to think mechanically and about controls at the same time.

• I am considering teaching our production facilities personnel about packaging equipment through an overview, machining individual parts, pneumatics, reading of schematics, wiring of machines, assembly, troubleshooting, etc.

• Organized troubleshooting, for example the use of "fishbones" and cause-and-effect diagrams. Technicians often understand how the machine works, but cannot combine the packaging component, machine, operated dynamics, and other factors to find the root cause for an issue.

• Methodical thinking to find the causes then solve the problem.

• It’s not what technologies that packaging maintenance personnel should learn, it’s trying
to have more technological standards within your facility. This would minimize information overload for the technicians and mechanics who have
to support the numerous quirks of each technological breakthrough that comes to your manufacturing floor.

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