Educate Everyone Up to His or Her Potential
We know a shop that finds a way to say yes to nearly every request employees make to get additional training. It funds or partially funds a variety of CAM learning experiences, including:
- Formal courses at universities and community college.
- Training provided by Mastercam resellers.
- On-line learning opportunities offered by such sources as Streaming Teacher, eapprentice.net, and Mastercam University.
- Mentoring arrangements where employees teach each other.
- Strategically using the help of programming consultants who provide training along with writing critical Mastercam programs.
The more people you have who are conversant with CAM, the better, even if they never become programmers. On the other hand, programming talent is very hard to come by. Some who are given the opportunity to learn CAM will discover they have a talent that will allow them to earn a better living while helping to sustain your business into the future.
“The US Army wants every soldier to know how to use an M16 rifle, even the cook and bottle washer. At A-Line, we want every employee to know how to operate a basic Haas mill or lathe, accompanied by a basic understanding and use of Mastercam. These are the essential tools of our business. With trained Mastercam programmers in each of our machining cells, we have the ability to respond quickly to our customers’ needs.”
If your education initiative is working well, you might even consider training every CNC machinist on your staff to be a Mastercam programmer also. Some would argue that this expansive attitude toward having multiple CAM users is costly in terms of additional CAM seats and computer hardware. There are, however, costs associated with having only one or two proficient programmers in a company. These include:
- Chronic overtime to meet programming work load.
- Delayed first-piece manufacturing and the costs of playing catch-up.
- Cost of not having enough trained programmers when the primary programmers are on vacation, sick or leave to take another job.
- Cost of underused equipment when programming resources are not sufficient to keep pace with equipment available to perform work already in the queue.
“We have 40+ CNC spindles, lathes up to 5-axis, CNC mills up to 5-axis, and our entire EDM department; everything is programmed with Mastercam. We have no specialists either. Only toolmakers. And every toolmaker in the company uses and aspires to be 100% fluid in Mastercam. We have 18 seats. It’s the lifeblood of the company.”