SEW-Eurodrive has offered the services of its DriveAcademy for a decade already. With the move to its new and expanded headquarters at Aeroton in Gauteng, the company has taken its learning facilities to the next level, according to Zander Claassens, training manager at SEW.
“Developing skills among our employees and customers has always been a high priority,” says Zander. “The performance and reliability of our products is directly enhanced when stakeholders understand the technical details and select the right product for the application; this is a cornerstone of our successful business growth.”
In the past 18 months, there has been significant upgrading of resources in the DriveAcademy, after the company moved into its new Industry 4.0-ready plant. These included state-of-the-art media rooms in the training wing, and the implementation of didactic products and next-generation training equipment.
“We are constantly updating our training material, and also upgrading our own skills as trainers – adopting new ways of presenting,” Zander asserts. “We regularly attend international conferences in person or virtually, to discuss these innovations and share information.”
Interest and excitement
He highlights that the DriveAcademy in South Africa is one of the first to adopt and implement augmented reality, with an eye on Industry 4.0 – allowing trainees to learn through holograms and holographic overlays.
“Not only is this a highly effective method, but is something that few people have been exposed to so it generates considerable interest and excitement among trainees,” he says. “Where trainees are exposed to memorable experiences like these, the retention of information tends to be much greater.”
Trainees in recent years have come from various sectors including automotive, mining, refining and steel. “We provide bespoke training for customers based on the products that they use, as well as standard product training courses with an introductory overview in drive engineering,” he explains. “As with our staff, each role within a business has different requirements, so we tailor the training to suit the need.”
“Due to the technical nature of our product portfolio, all of the training we offer is concluded with theoretical and practical tests, and competency is only declared when certain targets are met,” Zander concludes. “Through this simple but effective process, our staff, agents and customers come to a better comprehension of their chosen topics.”