In most companies, the largest productivity gain can be achieved by improving the proficiency of people. This is true for just about any task to be performed, but here we’re talking about CNC machine tool use. Improving the proficiency of CNC people should be a priority for any improvement program. If you want better, more efficient and more user-friendly CNC programs, improve the proficiency of your CNC programmers. If you want faster setups, improve the proficiency of your setup people. And if you want better and faster production runs with fewer scrap workpieces, improve the proficiency of your CNC operators.
Any improvement program should emphasize training. This month, I list some Internet Web sites that can help with CNC training. These sites provide online CNC training, offer training products (videos, CDs, books and other products) for sale and/or provide live, instructor-led training courses.
Online CNC Training Web Sites
Tooling University (www.toolingu.com): This site provides training for a variety of manufacturing topics, including CNC. Other departments include workholding, metal cutting, abrasives, inspection, stamping, materials, maintenance, EDM, shop essentials and quality. Many courses are offered in English and Spanish. A monthly or yearly subscription fee gives you access to all classes on the site. You can take a sample (free) class to get a feel for the methods used. Lesson activities include viewing videos and photographs and reading text. Classes are ongoing, so students can sign up and begin at any time.
Society of Manufacturing Engineers (www.sme.org): This site provides online training for a variety of manufacturing-related topics, including some classes related to CNC. Classes are ongoing.
MasterTask Training Systems (www.mastertask.com): Currently, one online class, Mastering CNC Lathes, is listed. It includes five modules: the basic CNC lathe, understanding part programs, lathe operator skills, basic setup skills and advanced setup skills. Units are further divided into about 60 modules. This class is ongoing. Pricing starts at $649 and varies based upon the number of students enrolled and the number of models selected.
CNC Concepts, Inc. (www.cncci.com): This site currently offers three online classes: machining center programming, turning center programming and parametric programming. Classes are ongoing and range from $69 to $89 per student, per class. Lesson activities include viewing PowerPoint presentations, reading course text, taking tests and completing programming assignments.
Many technical schools also provide online training as part of their curriculums. For a list of CNC-teaching schools, visit my company’s Web site (www.cncci.com) and look under “Resources for CNC Schools.”
CNC Training Products
MasterTask Training Systems (www.mastertask.com): Available are video and CD-ROM courses for a variety of CNC-related topics.
Society of Manufacturing Engineers (www.sme.org): Offers videos, CD-ROM courses and books on a variety of manufacturing-related topics, including CNC.
CNC Concepts, Inc. (www.cncci.com): Video and CD-ROM courses, books and self-study manuals for a variety of CNC-related topics are available.
Live, Instructor-led CNC Training
Rose Training Systems (www.rose-training.com): Courses for a variety of manufacturing- and CNC-related topics are offered. Classes are held in Cleveland, Ohio. In-plant training is also available.
Hane Industrial Training (www.hanetraining.com): Provides on-site training for all facets of manufacturing, including CNC.
Center for CNC Education (home.columbus.rr.com/hputz): Offers on-site training for CNC-related topics.
Society of Manufacturing Engineers (www.sme.org): Offered are public seminars and in-plant training for a variety of manufacturing-related topics, including CNC.
CNC Concepts, Inc. (www.cncci.com): Supplies in-plant training for CNC-related topics.
Most machine tool suppliers conduct live, instructor-led courses for their customers. A search in Google for “CNC training” or “CNC courses” will render many of them.
Many technical schools and machine tool suppliers provide CNC training, but I was surprised by the small number of independent suppliers I found on the Web that offer CNC training. If you know of other CNC training suppliers, please e-mail me. I’ll include your suggestions in a future column.