Although construction is still a little slow, with most companies being under massive pressure to find new ways of delivering already established services but with a new twist, following government guidelines on social distancing means, to work even remotely similar to how we did just 10 weeks ago is now almost impossible. Besides, companies are going to be looking for new ways to increase productivity and help claw back lost time, in construction a lost week alone can have a massive cost implication, one of these new ways to help this will be GPS machine control, already starting to work its way into the major project arsenal, machine control can have many advantages on productivity reducing downtime and increasing site efficiency.
One of the issues with machine control is that its such a new concept that many companies are still learning how to integrate it into their already established workflows, we have the combined issues of the operator community who will be excepted to use this cutting edge tech, not being in a position to be fluent in every day GPS works.
Plantforce over the last three years have released a varied number of training initiatives’ to better prepare plant operators for work within the major project setting which is now becoming more and more prevalent within the industry, one of the said programs has been a collaboration with Weston College to deliver advanced machine control training for already established operators in a bid to help prepare for the upcoming projects such as HS2 and in line with new Highways industry directives to make machine control mandatory.
GPS machine control is such a vast subject, just sending somebody on a day’s course just won’t work! We need to look at it more of an operator starting his journey into a very complex learning program and making sure they have the right amount of tools at their disposal at just the right time, and also making the somewhat complex engineering terminology used into a language that is understandable industry-wide, and making this process as fast and efficient as possible for the operators.
One of the main issues surrounding the training programme currently, when operators attend the college the backgrounds and skill levels are so varied that training the bare basics becomes the main focus, thus wasting valuable time on the machine and not being able to fully utilize the advanced machine control solutions we have on offer at the centre, which is making the course duration almost twice as long to get the right amount of knowledge for operators to be comfortable with using the tech on-site, this combined with the fact, that not every operator is cut out for this structured learning program on offer, some guys need extra hours and also learn at different rates, this is all about recognizing and getting to know your audience and his or her capabilities with learning new things.”
This new online-based offering is the perfect structured solution for helping the industry back to work with a better knowledge base, and enabling the operators to learn the basics in their own time at a pace which suits them and their needs, without the pressure a classroom environment can sometimes cause.
By each candidate completing the online basic introduction means, once the candidate arrives at the second stage, the more technical stage, they are all at the same level which allows us to reduce the course duration saving time and money and also better utilize the tech on offer, basically streamlining the whole process from end to end.
The free Learning covers the basic introduction into GPS machine control, how it works what are the key components needed along with a basic walk around videos of the equipment needed.
Each section is combined with structured a quiz to before aloud on to the next section.
The second section of the course is also free and hosted at Weston College and consists of simulation of the machine control interfaces along with a 4hrs session on machine practicing what they have already learned, this culminates in a test with a pass or fail at the end.
We feel once completed the candidate should be more than efficient to leave the college into a role where they might use the systems, and start their journey into machine control efficiency.
For candidates who are still hungry for more are then able to apply for the advanced training which is charged at £350 per person and involved the more complex side of machine control.
We have seen a massive intake during the last week or so with over 275 operators enrolling on the course and 100 at one time working online to achieve the certification. The feed back hase been brilliant all round, with just not operators but a mix of engineers and site manger all looking to better their knowledge of the complex systems.