CNC Training - For Real! (I hope)

Yes, this is actually ON topic, and doesn't contain a single word
about JB's mental state or Sarah Palin's meltdown. (Well, a few words,
obviously, but none below, I promise.) It's also long; but you knew
that when you saw who posted it.
The company I work for, like most machine shops I'm sure, is just
not able to find the skilled people it needs. I've ranted about this
before, so I won't elaborate. But we need skilled people - desperately.
So, I've decided to take a shot at fixing this by proposing to the
company that we grow our own skill in-house. And, to my horror, the
company owner has approved my proposal.
In fact, this isn't anything new for me. I've done a lot of
teaching and training in the past, and I enjoy it immensely. But this
will be the first time I've actually had the chance (maybe) to try
growing whole machinists from scratch. I think I know what to do; and
my plan includes a lot of details about how to do it. But, seeing as
how I really care about this, and would sorta like to make it work, I
thought I'd toss it at the group and ask for thoughts, suggestions, or
maybe even some warnings about how/where I'm liable stumble.
The plan goes like this:
I've contacted counselors and industrial arts teachers at several
local high schools, and a community college with a decent "manufacturing
technologies" program. I've asked for their help in putting me in touch
with kids that fit the following profile:
1. Recent high school graduate - just graduated a month ago would
be fine. A little bit of tech-school training, but not too much, would
also be good.
2. Not likely to be attending college full time in the fall. This
could mean someone who's not able to afford college, who has to work
while attending, or who just wants to get to work, rather than spending
more time in classrooms right now.
3. Someone smart enough to be looking for a career, not just a job.
My plan is to find kids with good work ethics, character, and
energy, and offer them a tangible, detailed path to a real career if
they're willing to pay some dues and earn their way. I'm also,
necessarily, looking for people who haven't been working very long (if
at all, beyond just summer jobs), and who haven't yet put themselves in
the position of being unable to start at the bottom rung of the earnings
I'm going to hire these kids in small groups - two to four at a time
- and they're all going to start out working for me as janitors. There
are good (I think) reasons for that.
First, I manage the company's maintenance department. My primary
responsibility is the equipment, of course - installations, repair, PM,
upgrades, etc. But, by extension, and because we haven't found any one
else to do the job, I'm also responsible for managing and maintaining
the air conditioners on the roof, and the septic system under the
parking lot, and pretty much everything else in between. I have a small
team of people who work for me; but they're not very good. I won't
waste words explaining why, except to say that when someone
intentionally applies for a job mopping floors or packaging parts,
they're probably not going to be all that wonderful.
So I'm going to fill (overfill actually) my team with people that I
think are the skilled machinists, cell leaders, plant managers, and shop
owners of the future; but who need someplace to start out. Starting out
in the maintenance crew, I reason, will offer people a chance to learn
their way around the shop, and get acclimated to what we do and how we
do it, before they're ready to start doing it themselves. And, there
isn't any part of the shop that my team doesn't see and touch and deal
with, from the air conditioners on the roof to... Well, you get it.
The first phase will be boot camp - cleaning restrooms, mopping
floors, pulling chips, and proving a willingness to work hard, follow
instructions, and do a good job even when the job isn't much fun. That
will last a month. Anybody who can't do a sinlge month of grunt work in
order to earn their way into the program will be dropped.
Why would anybody take a job like this? Well, I figure that someone
who ISN'T interested in being a janitor (or a stock clerk in a shoe
store, or a counter tender at McDonalds), but doesn't yet have the
skills to be anything more, might be willing to earn what they really
want. People stand in line by the millions to be embarrassed and then
dumped by Simon Cowell on American Idol. And they fall all over
themselves to maybe (or probably not) have a chance of getting voted off
whatever dirty, ugly, smelly island is the setting for this year's
edition of Survivor. And folks join the army to get things like job
training, and health benefits, and college tuition, even though they
know they might get their asses shot off in some third world hell-hole,
10,000 miles from home and friends and family. So maybe this will look
good, by comparison.
Those who make the cut after 30 days with me will get a pay raise,
and will then spend five MORE months working for me in maintenance.
This will still be the daily routine of floors and toilets and chips;
but will also include some training and some variety. When I need to
run a cable through a conduit, the youngsters will push at one end while
I'm pulling at the other. When I take a machine apart for service,
they'll help me move the cover panels, and will clean the machine parts,
and dig the chips and crud out of the dark corners that don't normally
get enough attention. They'll become responsible for mixing coolants,
checking and topping off way oil and hydraulic oil tanks, and like that.
They'll also do things like changing the media in the vibratory
tumbler, changing the filters in air conditioners and mist eaters,
transferring coolants and lubricants from drums we receive into our
dispensing system, and marking bars of raw materials as those are
received and placed on racks.
By the end of the first six months, my recruits will have put their
eyes, their fingers, and hopefully their brains, into every corner of
every part of the shop. They'll know where to find everything, they'll
understand the need and the reasons for cleanliness, organization,
teamwork, and more. They'll know the name and number designation of
evey piece of equipment. When a belt breaks, or a limit switch gets
eaten by chips, they'll know what those things are. They'll have seen
them, and touched them, and they'll have worked with me to understand
that an alarm indicator on the machine's control isn't a mystery, but a
problem to be reported accurately, and solved methodically, by means
that are real and learnable. The kids will have proven that they can
learn and perform basic tasks of many kinds. And they'll have started
learning some vocabulary. They'll also have been plugged into the
shop's e-mail system, and will start to see the traffic there - what
goes wrong, who's involved in what projects, how we set priorities, etc.
THEN (I hope), they'll be ready to start learning real stuff. At
the end of six months, the kids will get another pay raise, and will
become what I'm calling Class 2 manufacturing assistants. In this
position, they'll still report to me; but will be farmed out to the
various cells in the company for things like deburring and cleaning
parts, loading stock into bar-feeders, fetching collets and tool holders
for the machinists, or cleaning and putting away the stuff that comes
out of a machine at the end of a job. They'll be required to work in
every cell, with every different kind of equipment and job, during the
next six months. I want them exposed at this level to as much variety
as possible, and I want all the cell leaders to test drive each of the
kids for two reasons. First, I need good feedback about how they're
doing, from viewpoints other than my own. Second, I want each of the
kids to have a chance to find something they like best, or that
interests them most, to start thinking about directions for the long term.
Those who do well as C2 Mfg. Assistants will get another raise, and
will move up to Class 1. That will include the same stuff as Class 2,
plus learning to read micrometers and calipers and prints, and don't
drop the gauge blocks on the floor, and "tending" machines that would
otherwise run unmanned. Check every third or fifth part in a specified
way. Enter the data into the computer tracking system at the bench.
Learn what's a problem, and report it to the cell leader, etc. And, of
course, learn and learn and learn, and do every job well enough to keep
paying our way while we teach you.
At the end of approximately 18 months (6 in maintenance, 6 each at
the two levels of Mfg. Assistant), my young charges will have gone from
mopping floors to (almost) operating machines in production, and from
$9.00 an hour to $12.00. And, they'll have survived their time with me.
They'll know the company, the people, the rules, the expectations, and
they'll have proved that they can live with all of those.
And each time a group moves on, I'm going to fill in behind them
with another class of janitors and toilet cleaners, so the pipeline is
always full of new recruits.
After performing well as Mfg. Assistants, the kids will graduate to
bigger and better kinds of learning and performance. They'll have three
options. They can train to be either CNC machinists, quality control
technicians, or building maintenance specialists. All of the previous
training was preamble, and should prepare the kids for any of the three
main areas. They can lean to cut metal, or learn QC, or stay with me
and learn plumbing, electrican's stuff, network cables and air handling
systems and what's behind the walls that needs fixing or improving. Or
maybe they even graduate from that to learning gears and bearings and
electronics and PLC's, and to fixing and maintaining machine tools. If
needed or appropriate, some will be sent back to the community college
to learn more math than they got in high school. Or they'll attend a
machine builder's programming school, to put some more formal and
structured knowledge with the day-to-day things they're learning at
work. Or they'll get tuition reimbursement in lieu of pay raises,
coupled with flexible work hours, so they can go back to college and
learn metrology, or engineering, or whatever makes sense for them and
has future value to the company. For the right people, properly
screened and qualified and tested, investments like that will make
sense, and be easy to justify.
In a continuing series of steps, under the care of skilled people
who've agreed to help, the kids will keep learning, and growing, and
earning pay raises, and eventually filling the positions in the company
that we can't fill off the street. They'll learn tooling, and setups,
and programming, and inspection, and processing, and more and more and
more, over the course, of course, of a serious number of years.
There will be problems, naturally. But all the ones I've thought of
can be solved, as far as I know. I've already had good response to the
basic idea, and have candidates calling for interviews. Obviously, this
isn't really a great innovation or anything. It's just an
apprenticeship, pretty much like what's been done in skilled trades for
a thousand years, at least. The trouble is, nobody does apprenticeships
anymore. It's a lost part of our business, and probably something that
looks new and strange to somebody just starting out in the world. So
I'm recycling an old idea, and hopefully implementing it in ways that
are appropriate for the 21st century, rather than the 19th.
But I'd really like some thoughts, cautions, or other perspectives
from the group members. Where will I screw up? What things should I
teach early, or save for later, or whatever? How would you do this, if
it were your project? What would you want or expect, if you were 18
years old again, and looking for an entry point into a career?
Think. Share. Please! I'll sincerely appreciate any comments or
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
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Are you going to teach them how to fail at business ventures like you have with your drill sharpening machine?
Are you going to teach them to wrap themselves in the flag like you do?
Are you going to teach them to use AutoCAD rather than SolidWorks to design with because after all these years you still can't grasp the benefits of top down design?
Yet another thing you have failed miserably at, eh?
After 18 months a whole $12.00 an hour. I'm sure you will get lots of really smart and creative people jumping all over this "opportunity".
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA
Reply to
before, if anyone is interested in background;
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LOL.......Every generation says the same thing. Environment & circumstances change, basic human nature doesn't.
-- Tom
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Reply to
Which is a whole lot more than Jon Banquer, cadcam poseur and idiot, will be making when wakes up (not just to your incompetence, but to all their missing shit, as well) and cans Jon Banquer's thieving pathological and useless ass.
'course, as per 0:41 and 3:20 in
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(29,685,000 hits, yo), if you grow some knobs and tuck your flabby ass in some tight jeans, you might be able to supplement your soon-to-be minimal income. Some quality check-kiting jail time will no doubt give you some sexy moves.
'course, yer already lying about your current wage, as you lie about everything else.
Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®
As usual Kirk, well thought out and characteristically verbose. I have been putting together in house apprenticeship programs for quite a few of my customers as part of my business. The key is finding the right people. You may have to go through a few thousand kids to get one that is worth a damn. On the other side of that is you may have to go through a few thousand machinists to find the ones that can teach. Once you have put the two together running the shop is an all day lesson of learning and teaching. The common thread I find in both instructors and students is a background in music or sports. The discipline of either one transcends well to machining. One of the most talented crews I have been a part of training is a soccer team. The apprentice leadman and all the other apprentices have soccer scholarships and have at least 2 years of college paid for by soccer. They are quick learners and some have changed their career path to manufacturing related studies. More importantly they already understand how to function as a team. Continuous improvement isn't a negative concept that destroys their self esteem. Being athletes they understand in order to improve you need to eliminate your weak points. Any time there is an opening the leadman recruits a new team member. He is finding results on the field mean results in the shop. It is truly satisfying to see a meritocracy in action.
Reply to
Damn! You either have an ecyclopedic memory, or a really good way to organize your e-mail history.
What it means is that two and half years ago, I thought maybe we could hire skill and trainees, too. I kept right on thinking that until I'd seen two and half years go buy without much success in the skill department. So I thought about it again, and realized that within driving distance of where I work, there are literally thousands of kids who have just hit the streets after finishing high school, and are looking for jobs in the middle of a recession. That, frankly, was my cue to write this plan.
If I can't find good kids NOW, I never will, and I'll just curl up and retire with a permananet disappointment on my resume.
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
I shouldn't waste my time, but...
The drill sharpening machine didn't fail. It worked superbly. The oldest one is now 10 years old, and its owner STILL hasn't found anything that will replace it, or the other four that make up most of his entire operation. The business didn't fail, either. I never wanted to be a business person. I've done my share of sales, and management, and accounting, and lawyers and corporate meetings and all the rest, and it's just not my thing. I'm a hands-on guy, and I like working on machines, not computers or paper. I started my business just because it was the only way to take on some real-world projects I wanted to do. That lasted 11 years. And when I was done, I either had to make it a real business, including all the things that don't turn me on, or put my money in the bank and find some other way to keep doing what I love. I found a job, and it's worked for me. I don't have to send quotations, or live on the phone, or try to lie my way past the secretary just for a chance to try convincing the owner of a company to let me help him. I show up every morning and walk right in the door. I get to play all day with somebody else's expensive toys. And then I go home tired and dirty and happy. And they pay me every two weeks, right on time. I don't call that failure. Life is fine.
I've never considered myself flag-wrapped. I have no idea why you think that. You don't, either.
I'm going to teach them that it's results that matter. Allen wrenches for some tasks, crescent wrenches for others. We have AutoCAD, SolidWorks, MasterCAM, and more. They'll learn every tool I can teach them, and I'll test them by looking at the quality and production rates and profits that result from the tools and fixtures and gauges they design. I don't give a damn about the brand name on the software.
I guess you'd have to ask my students - several hundred people over the years that I've taught to program, set up, operate, and maintain CNC machine tools. As far as I know, every one of them has made a living doing the exact things I taught them. Most have moved on to do a lot more than that, including some that I first met decades ago, who now own and operate a lot of CNC machinery. In my book, that might mean that they got a good start.
You need to learn how to read, Jon. I'm not interested in $9 an hour or $12 an hour people. And I'm not going to hire people who want those kinds of wages. I'm looking for people who can earn $80,000 or $100,000 or more per year. I just need to start them someplace, and get them to the point where they have some real and valuable skills.
And, despite what you seem to believe, the only way to get from the bottom of the ladder to the top is to learn. Not bitch. Not pretend to know. But learn. And that takes a long time.
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
Not to hex you or anything, but what if you wound up with trainees like Jon Banquer? Well, if these trainees actually *gradurated* HS, that would be one-up on Jon Banquer...
Do you think would turn up that Jon Banquer *almost* went to jail for check kiting, but instead let his wife do his bid?
Mebbe she's looking for him now, like Carrie Fisher with that bazooka/M16, going after John Belushi, in Blues Brothers....
Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®
Just in case it helps...
I'm serious and passionate about the topic here, and I'm really hoping some of the more thoughtful members of the group can help me. I've answered some of JB's "questions" in another post; but I'd really, REALLY like it if this thread didn't get hijacked by Jon, or any of the other head-cases in the group.
So let's leave them out this time. Let's ignore them and deal with the topic, which I'm hoping is interesting and thought-provoking enough all by itself that we can enjoy it and get our teeth into it without letting it decay into madness like so many other threads do.
That said, I'm truly interested in input from any source. Even those who normally prefer to throw shit and slime up the group may have valuable thoughts to offer. I plan to read carefully, and to think about any idea that deserves it.
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
Excellent response, of course. But you could have just as well have shortened it to:
Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®
You love to waste time. It's one of the few things you're truly good at.
It failed as a business venture because you can't make a decent living selling it to others.
You're little more than a blow hard.
You can't teach what you don't know and you have proven you're totally incapable of understanding concepts like top down design. I doubt you could teach them much about Mastercam either.
I don't have to ask anyone. Many of your ideas and concepts are "s" and don't hold up even under mild scrutiny.
I have no doubt that my reading skills far outpace yours. I'm also much better at getting to the point where as you go on and on and on never really saying very much of intelligence.
So you say but your moronic ideas and program show this is exactly what you want and what you will get.
They best way is with a good program and an excellent teacher. Your program sucks and so do you.
In your case forever wouldn't be long enough.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA
Reply to
Then I think you need to study abnormal psychology and sociology. No foolin.... It might give you some clues as to how to deal with fundamentally toxic media programming (not TV programming, altho that is certainly a part, but rather of programming our brains), and very very powerful programming at that.
Or how to filter out those who are/are not fundamentally damaged.
I believe that social darwinism is being semi-deliberately fostered -- only the *fundamentally* well-adjusted, or the truly predatory, will survive in any productive way.
There is absolutely no intent on elevating our children, giving them a chance. All that bullshit is lipservice.
We have 6 billion effing people on this planet, with *maybe* 60,000,000 having usable (read: unscrambled) brains. If that ratio is correct, you will have "success" with *maybe* 1 out of 100. Which is about what the direct-marketing/cold calling response rate is, if there is any connection.
I think there is some wisdom to your method: you will at least be filtering out those with some grit/determination. Then, you hope for brains.
The big Q is, how to "inspire" people with work, when work is essentially viewed by the media as the consolation prize for losers? It's a bad bad bad psycho/social situation, with kids as the miner's birds.
Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®
Oh!!! Music and sports! You've mentioned that before (or somebody has) and it's perfect! Thank you for that. I'm logging off right now to add a couple new questions to my interview notes, and a couple extra things to look for on resumes and transcripts.
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
What your serious about is getting idiots to agree with you so when your program goes down in a heap of flames and lost money you can say others thought this was a good program as well. "F" you Kirk, that's not going to happen.
The topic is your program sucks. You now complain that this thread will decay into "madness". Your idiot program *is* madness. When there are good threads.... like the one I started on drill sharpeners you are silent because you're such a self serving, self centered, selfish, flag waving piece of "s".
Your typical lip service bullshit.
... And as per Captain Kirk usual not do a damn thing to change this poorly though out piece of "s" program.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA
Reply to
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29,685,000 hits, yo.
A snippet at the very beginning, much more at 0:44 -- really does look like jb in a tizzy over cadcam he don't unnerstand, eh? Also, 3:20 -- jb being chased, assaulted at a mastercam/SW training session? Really, quite a likeness, bald spot and all.
Hormone therapy would explain jb's intermittent snits, near-meltdowns, and general BizarroLand behavior, logic.
I guess, from rehab pov, all these muthafuckas could go into the bar/lounge/stripper/entertainment biz, eh?
Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®
In a high production manufacturing environment I prefer to train. IMO and experience it is easier to teach good habits than trying to break someone of bad habits they picked up else ware.
What you are planing to do is building a nice foundation for the future sucess of the company.
One pitfall for OJT I often see is a company OVER values the "Cost of Training" and then tries to recoup the inflated cost by somehow charging it back to the trainee. Basically forcing the trainee to leave once they learn the position/trade if they want to make money.
-- Tom
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Not any points that lying pieces of "s" like Kirk, Joe788, Tom Brewer, and "machining expert" P.V. ( Kriss Hogg) can grasp. As it stands, without a complete overhaul, Captain Kirk's program will fail. So be it as he's an "a" hole who has had plenty of failure in his life and this will be yet another one of his many failures.
If Kirk had a clue he'd do something more productive with his time like figure out how to offer a moderately priced optical measuring system that lets you quickly and easily dial in equal length cutting lips on a Darex M5 without having to waste so much time with trail and error and without having to remove the drill from the chuck.. The same need exists for most semi portable cutter grinder type tools.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA
Reply to
I don't know what that means, exactly; but I hope it's good.
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
Sadly, I can't argue with a single word. But I also can't just bitch about it and do nothing. So I'm going to try, even if it's just a few kids in a small program. Someone once said "It's a fool who does nothing because he thinks he can do only a little."
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
ass = ear. :) :)
Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®

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