On-the-job training is a favorite learning medium for many, and it’s no wonder – it means trainees get hands-on experience troubleshooting their own equipment in their own place of work. The trouble is, the skills learned through this type of training are completely dependent upon the trainer’s abilities: both their technical expertise and teaching skills.  

It’s quite rare to find a person with technical mastery who also is great at teaching, though, and in most facilities, on-the-job training comes with these pitfalls: 

-Perpetuation of habits: any habits, good or bad, that your trainer has will be passed along to anyone they train. When everyone has the same bad habits, problems can result down the line.

-Loss of productivity: on-the-job training usually requires costly downtime for your facility. Check out our downtime calculator for more. 

-Most maintenance techs are not teachers by trade or vocation or even ability, limiting the potential of any trainee. 

A superior training method 

For the feel of hands-on training with none of the pitfalls of on-the-job training, simulation-based training fits the bill. With simulations, learners can walk through every step in electrical troubleshooting virtually and with no danger to personnel or equipment. Simulations provide instant feedback, gamification to keep learners engaged, and a safety net for errors. Using simulations helps to avoid line shutdowns, arc flash dangers, and possible accidents or injuries during training.  

As opposed to on-the-job training, simulations enable learners to practice solving all common faults – without danger to equipment or personnel. It’s a safer and more comprehensive way to bring your new employees up to speed and helps to mitigate any bad habits existing team members might inadvertently bring to the table.

Once trainees understand the general theory and best practices around electricity and fault recovery, existing team members can provide more details on the exact equipment within the facility, limiting or eliminating actual downtime for the whole facility. 

Online simulation-based training can be completed on an individual basis with no scheduling requirements, reducing the need to schedule training time, and ultimately increasing the amount of time maintenance techs are available for regular work. 

When the whole maintenance team understands the safe and proper way to solve faults, the whole facility benefits: fewer accidents and injuries, lower chances of arc-flash, and less downtime.  

TPC Simulations 

TPC Training offers hands-on training in several settings to optimize learning and knowledge retention for your trainees. Many of our popular online training courses (plus virtual and in-person instructor-led training) include simulation-based training to give students hands-on experience with proper teaching methodology and an engaging virtual experience. 

TPC Simulation showing caging and warning signs

In short, simulation-based training can counter these issues.

-Teaching methods are standardized to represent best practices in the workplace.
-Use of simulation software means there is no downtime for the facility

    TPC's troubleshooting simulations provide a wide array of common faults including: 

    -Loose or broken wiring  
    -Short circuits  
    -Open Neutrals 
    -Component failures  
    -Motor failures including open and shorted windings as well as seized bearings 
    -VFD failures and fault codes 
    -Complex faults with multiple points of failure 

      PLC-related faults include:  

      -Wrong program loaded  
      -Logic errors  
      -Module failure 
      -Transducers and the 4 – 20 mA signal 

        “We aim to build ‘electrical troubleshooting superheroes.’ When the whole maintenance team understands the safe and proper way to solve faults, the whole facility benefits: fewer accidents and injuries, lower chances of shock and arc flash related injuries, and less downtime,” said Michael McKenzie, VP of Products, Simulations. 

        Our team releases new Learning Labs on a regular basis; the modules provide new opportunities to improve your skills. To learn more about how you can get your team electrical troubleshooting training without dedicating time and facility downtime to their education, check out our Electrical Troubleshooting Simulations page. 

        Love learning from our expert instructors? Many of our instructor-led training courses include electrical simulations, too! 

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