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Closing the Skills Gap with Interactive Training

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Hydro Closing the Skills Gap with Interactive Training (1)

Closing the Skills Gap with Interactive Training

The lack of skilled workers in manufacturing has been a long-lasting and widespread problem across industries which has grown exponentially after the global pandemic, the great resignation, and now the mass retirement of experienced workers. That’s why training is a key priority for most equipment companies and something that Hydro University, a division of Hydro, Inc., has focused on solving.

But how do you select the best training option among the many alternatives available? Characteristics of high-quality training are simple: effectiveness, timeliness, cost-efficiency, learner engagement, and adoption of beneficial technological advances.

Based on these criteria, the consensus among specialists is that passing on practical knowledge and developing manufacturing and maintenance personnels’ technical skills is best done in a hands-on training format. If this is true, why don’t we see more hands-on classes? The answer lies in the specialized resources required, which can become impossible organizational hurdles: finding instructors with special skills sets, investing in costly dedicated equipment, identifying specialized facilities, and supporting costly operations with complex set-up/teardown.

In response, Hydro University’s experts have developed IMPEL™ (Installation and Maintenance Procedures for Electronic Learning), a hybrid training solution which harnesses the advantages of hands-on training while mitigating its many challenges. If you agree that a picture is worth a thousand words, then imagine what an animation must be worth. For these reasons, IMPEL™ is designed to combine 3D model animations with the step-by-step sequencing of procedures – disassembly, assembly, maintenance, etc. – into a comprehensive and interactive digital manual and parts catalog.

Hydro Closing the Skills Gap with Interactive Training (1)The pressure of organizing a class on short notice or the difficulty of accurately retaining and recalling knowledge acquired months or years prior is now eliminated. Just-in-time or when needed refreshers are always ready because digital manuals don’t require complicated set-ups, dedicated spaces or facilities, or any added costs – the click of a button suffices. Delivery of and access to training materials is flexible, versatile, and instantaneous. An intuitive interface hosts a class on the user’s favorite laptop, tablet, or even smart phone and is deployed in any familiar browser. Pause-and-play, mouse driven interactive actions, reset and rewind commands define a simple environment allowing competent use of IMPEL™ models in less than 10 minutes. Whether at your desk, on the plant floor, or in the field, portability gives convenient access to information.

Hydro Closing the Skills Gap with Interactive Training (1)When it comes to content, IMPEL™ is centered on servicing the user: from materials covering general categories of equipment to customized models representing unique and specific machinery and procedures, everything can be covered. Clear animations, in-depth procedures, annotations, tips, and warnings derived from experts’ extensive practical experience ensure information’s completeness. Carefully reviewed and scripted models avoid the accidental oversight that might occur in the flow of a live class. Hard to understand concepts typical of complex procedures are finally accessible to anyone.

But IMPEL™ transcends its functionality as a training tool to become a maintenance resource. Properly preparing and planning for a maintenance or repair job can be a challenging task we have all experienced firsthand. A lot of support can be derived from an animated procedure accompanied by a parts catalog. From making sure that all the needed parts have been identified, ordered, and stored, to having the qualified personnel and all the tools ready on site and in time, IMPEL™ is the organizational tool that you didn’t know you needed. As an on-hand resource, it can supplement or replace outdated, paper procedures with a visual, interactive procedure.

Hydro Closing the Skills Gap with Interactive Training (1)Especially with the new workforce growing up in the digital age, this kind of technology represents a step forward in adapting your solutions to the personnel’s needs. Even better, because IMPEL™ is Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) ready, this is also your training answer for the foreseeable future.

Learn more about Hydro University and IMPEL™.

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