13.09.2022 / Mike Noorlander

Distance Learning as the Perfect Complement

The fact that, after two years of pandemic-related experiences with Zoom and Co., many people now initially shy away when they (have to) take part in online training is totally understandable to me. However, I can assure you that we at Muller Martini have found an ideal format with which we can perfectly supplement the logically still necessary hands-on training on the machines online.

The easiest way to explain this is to look at the training of our service technicians in the Asia Pacific region, which recently took place using the concept of distance learning. In this region, we are still faced with the problem that neither we from Europe can travel to Asia without quarantine, nor can our colleagues from Asia travel to Europe without restrictions. 

Numerous technical innovations
We therefore have to find new solutions for keeping our employees in the market organizations up to date on technical innovations and new features on our machines. This is also the case with the Ventura MC 200 book sewing machine, which is now fully equipped with servo technology and whose operation has been completely revised. As a result, the installation, start-up, service support and operation of this machine have been redesigned in many respects. 

So we invited people to an online training session divided into five blocks of two and a half hours each. Because many people have also made this experience: It is even more difficult to concentrate and absorb knowledge over a long period of time online. That's why we break the training content down into five digestible parts. In total, over thirty people from various Asian countries took part in the training. By the way, among them were recently hired service technicians who did not know the Ventura MC 200 at all.

Varied knowledge transfer
I led through the training in a very classic way with a PowerPoint presentation. This gave us the necessary structure. In order to convey the knowledge not only theoretically, but in a (literally) figurative sense practically, we used a camera on a tripod and a colleague who filmed everything live. During the training, we were able to switch between presentation, tripod camera and live camera, so it was interesting and instructive for the participants.

In a question and answer session that concludes each session, I then used the Smart Glasses. The camera integrated into a pair of glasses transmits exactly the image section that I myself am looking at when explaining and showing the machine details. It may not always provide the best image quality, but it conveys the teaching content extremely authentically. The viewers on the other side of the world have the feeling that they are looking directly into the machine. The data glasses also proved their worth when explaining the new operating functions, as every finger movement on the touchscreen can be followed very well. I was also able to use the glasses to show how to correctly reference an Amrys axis (Automatic Make Ready System) or a servo motor on the Ventura MC 200.

I think it's great that even after more than twenty years in my job at Muller Martini, I can still try out new things, like this type of distance learning - combined with the use of new types of technology. I particularly appreciate the Smart Glasses when working with small groups. You are independent of external camera settings and the support needed for filming. In addition, you can react flexibly and give feedback very quickly and directly. When I'm in contact with customers, I don't need a complex infrastructure or any major preparations. I can just switch on and get started. That's a big advantage. 
Of course, despite all the enthusiasm for this type of training, one must not forget that on-site training with practical exercises on mechanical settings cannot replace the online variant, but only supplement it.

A lot of knowledge in a short time
My training participants from the market organizations in Asia were definitely very grateful that we were able to impart a large amount of knowledge to them in such a short time. They certainly took away more than if they had "only" read a PowerPoint presentation or watched a short video on YouTube.

We can, of course, provide this type of training for our customers if required and requested. Depending on the customer's background and needs, it makes perfect sense to combine different forms of training and to conduct an online training first, or to add one after the on-site training for more in-depth knowledge. These smart new types of training are an important component of our Smart Services, where the Smart Glasses can also be used with great benefits during remote service calls or installations, for example. 

I hope I have been able to inspire you a little for this extremely exciting way of imparting knowledge. Perhaps it would also be something for you and your employees? Then simply get in touch with your Muller Martini contact.

Best regards

Your Mike Noorlander
Instructor & Application Engineer at Muller Martini

13.09.2022 Mike Noorlander Instructor & Application Engineer at Muller Martini