Training provides up-to-the-minute knowledge and new ways of thinking, translating directly into on-the-job results. In fact, the right training can significantly improve cement plant performance, with long-lasting effects.
Training aims to help cement plant staff understand their role in a modern working context and develop deep insight into the complete cement process and its equipment. The right training can significantly contribute to a reduction in plant downtime, and helps to increase equipment availability and reliability, which in turn enables plant managers to meet increasingly tough cost and performance targets and keep plants competitive and profitable. Training is an on-going process that should be planned and reviewed, particularly as new people join the team or new equipment is invested in. By collaborating with cement plants over the long-term, experienced trainers and the right courses can ensure that customers get the most out of their training investment, and that the new skills are converted into meeting real-life cement plant performance goals.
Setting the standard for cement education
The FLSmidth Institute training programmes help engineers and plant managers to acquire the deep understanding needed for optimal operation of a cement plant. The aim is for staff to thoroughly understand the impact of meeting performance targets, high run-factors and high equipment availability as well as the importance of health and safety so that it becomes an instinctive way of working. This lies at the heart of FLSmidth’s maintenance philosophy. Understanding KPIs, such as equipment availability, is one important aspect of FLSmidth Institute training programmes. Here, the emphasis is on achieving a high level of knowledge about the full cement production process and on eliminating unscheduled downtime. Understanding and appreciating the importance of documentation and reporting are also key aspects.
FLSmidth Institute collaborates with universities and vocational schools in India and Egypt, and with the Danish Technical University of Engineering (DTU). In addition, there is great potential for similar on-going collaboration in other regions of the world to ensure that people with the latest knowledge and expertise are available to run modern plants in the most optimal manner.
Open courses focus on Production, Maintenance, and Automation (process control and quality control). Production courses cover such topics as international cement production, kiln process and operation, grinding technology, vertical raw mill simulation, and process simulation. Maintenance courses teach, for example, the maintenance of kiln systems, vertical and ball mills, and Pfister rotor weigh feeders. Automation training provides detailed information on FLSmidth’s unique automation solutions. Electrical training is also offered, either on-site, or in Denmark, followed by a visit to a plant with FLSmidth equipment.
Face-to-face teaching is combined with computer-assisted instruction for optimal learning. Online courses will be released during 2014, and can be followed up with more advanced, tailored on-site training. Regularly held open courses and seminars are listed in the FLSmidth Institute catalogue (available online) and are conducted in English or Spanish, or in other languages via an interpreter. For some courses, PDF training material may be distributed to the participants on iPads, enabling participants to take notes, highlight and bookmark relevant information during lectures. Participants’ knowledge before and after courses is tested to establish their level of competence and determine next steps. And participant satisfaction is high, with all training programmes receiving consistently positive ratings in participant course evaluations.
Mark V. Trunov, manager of the Podgorenskiy Cement Plant in Russia comments:
"We had a challenging task to commission the dry process plant. FLSmidth Institute training was very useful for us as specialists who previously had been working only with a wet process of cement production. The training was logically structured, and each stage of the process cycle was studied separately. Apart from the technology itself, we got very detailed information about each equipment unit for each process stage, as well as about specific features of its operation and maintenance. The material was explained proficiently by professional coachers with a practical background in cement"
The FLSmidth Institute offers customised programmes, with a mixture of theoretical and practical content, conducted on-site and via eLearning. The Institute trains approximately 5,000 people annually, and has set the standard for cement education for more than a century. Training programmes are developed in close dialogue with customers, and are designed to meet specific performance goals. Following training, 95% of participants report that they continue to use the training materials and find them relevant.
Training is broadly divided into four packages: Technical training for FLSmidth employees; training sold as part of a project within cement, mineral processing and material handling; highly customised training focused on the exact needs of a plant; and O&M contract training for local employees.
The FLSmidth Institute provides training regardless of the brand of equipment in use. Programmes are offered both as plant-specific courses and as ‘open’ courses and seminars with participants from different plants around the globe.