by Jeff Johnson, Sulzer Pumps

Pump systems can be complicated, making effective training essential.

The need for training has never been greater. In tough economic times, training is one way to increase knowledge and fine tune processes so that the organization can be more competitive when the next positive business cycle brings in new work opportunities. Training is critical in helping businesses build and maintain the extensive knowledge base important for success, especially as a large part of the pump industry's work force begins retiring.

Training Opportunities

Today's pump manufacturers, consultants and repair facilities provide excellent training programs, websites and materials to help employees learn about pumps and the systems in which they work. A pump training class can teach basic pump concepts and build a solid foundation for improving specific skills and knowledge.

Engineers, operators, mechanics, manufacturers and millwrights can all benefit from pump training. Even experienced mechanics can learn something new.

Hands-on pump training

Pumps and their systems can be complicated. There are many different pieces to the system puzzle and any one component can affect the operation and performance of another piece of equipment. Trainers should try to keep things simple and give a solid foundation of practical knowledge. When I lead a training class, my motivation is to give students knowledge that they can build upon to become experts in their own work disciplines. Training classes can be short but gaining pump knowledge goes beyond a three-day class. We encourage students to apply their new understanding to their daily work and problem-solving to continue developing their storehouse of pump and systems expertise.

Effective Training

The most effective training involves all the senses and uses different media including:

  • Presentations
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Lab experiences
  • Hands-on training

The goal should be to create a training environment that makes students feel comfortable about learning and encourages them to ask questions.

No one knows everything. However collectively, we know a lot, and the training environment can offer ideal opportunities to share experiences and on-the-job problem-solving. Value for everyone can be gained when students ask questions and other trainees are able to share information and knowledge from their experiences.

Classroom experiences

With a continuous supply of new employees in the pump field and the ongoing need to keep staff up-to-date on products and new technologies, finding the right training for a business is important. Many capable pump trainers and seminars are available, and a wide range of programs are designed to meet the needs of operators, engineers and mechanics. Training sessions can range from general pump training to tailored programs on specific pumps, systems or other equipment. Depending on the personnel's needs and location, training can be organized at a specific facility or customer site.

As companies prepare for the next positive business cycle, consider training as a key component of this preparation. It is a great way to develop a team's pump knowledge and make sure companies are ready for any situation.


Pumps & Systems, August 2011