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One of the more significant changes to come to the revitalization of our educational programs (see this blog post to learn more about it: Covid and the Conflict) is a more concentrated effort for specificity. For example, past OPSI classes, while comprehensive, spread the material out over a variety of pieces of equipment and topics. Meaning, dryer customers, kiln customers and the occasional ball mill customer, sat side by side learning the pertinent information. This worked well for years and we’re pleased and proud of the experience we delivered. However, with the need to reduce class sizes due to Covid-19, we’re taking this opportunity to single out classes for specific equipment and a variety of tools. This is something we have always wanted to do, and we’re thrilled to make it come to life!

We kicked off this new experience with a virtual training class co-hosted between Optimus Solutions and Industrial Kiln & Dryer Group. We had 18 people in attendance with 7 attendees going for their certification in the following TomTom-Tools: Kiln Axis Alignment System, Ovality Sensor, and Kiln Shell Sensor. The students learned how to connect, disconnect, troubleshoot software and measure with the tools. Additionally, they left class with a solid understanding on the concept of each tool. Set-up on the IKD side included our fully functioning “mini dryer,” which is capable of gear and pinion alignments, tire runouts, and features a removeable shell section. Tom Zhang, PhD, PE, (Optimus) and Alejandro Terrazas (IKD) taught this three-day course, half lecture and half hands-on lab, virtually with great success. One of the advantages of choosing to have your training and certification class at your own facility, either virtually or by inviting our trainers to come onsite, is the ability to perform all measurements on your own equipment. In this case, our customers were able to practice on and demonstrate their understanding of the software and how to perform the field measurements, on their own kiln. At the end of the training, students who were interested in being certified took a written exam (70%+ score needed), demonstrated an ability to utilize software and performed full field measurements as well as passed a verbal exam on performing the field measurements and interpreting them.

Lauren Rivero, our International Sales Support, said her favorite part of the training was seeing the customers confidently perform their field measurements onsite after going through the training. The customers worked in groups of 2-3 and the instructors also created a contest with prizes for those who performed the tasks with the most precision. This added even more energy to an already enjoyable class. Lauren really thought the training went extremely well even with our trainers not present onsite. “After the class,” she offered, “students were asked to deliver homework within the next 10 days that consisted of more adjustments and fine tuning of their equipment.”

All in all, our first class featuring our certification program went off without any major hitch and we are pleased to be able to offer this high-level training to our customers. For more information about OPSI or IKDU and the most relevant classroom experience for you and your company, give us a call: 502-515-5822.