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Capturing Captive Knowledge

Tell me if you’ve established a means for culling your experienced machinists’ shopfloor knowledge before they retire.

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How do you capture the shopfloor intel in your experienced machinists’ heads before they retire?

I call it the “other big data.” Not the stuff that forms the foundation for concepts such as Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things, but rather the vast knowledge of machining processes and best practices stored in the minds of your best, most experienced employees.

Unfortunately, many of those people are baby boomers who will soon retire from shops like yours, potentially taking all that knowledge out the door. (I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.) So my questions to you are: Have you established a mechanism for culling your experienced machinists’ shopfloor knowledge before they move on? And, would you share with me ways you are dealing with this issue?

If so, I’d like to learn more. Email your thoughts to me so that I might share them with others who find themselves in the same “big-data dilemma.”