When it comes to training staff to troubleshoot electrical components, there are two popular options available to manufacturers: physical workstations and virtual online simulation.

Both methods have their benefits, but with the increasing trend towards social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many manufacturers are now turning away from the workstations in favor of online simulations.

In this post, we’ll cover some of the benefits of using online simulations vs. training workstations and how you can start implementing an online program today to minimize disruption to your business.

The limitations of physical simulators

Training workstations go by many names. Depending on who you ask, they are also called physical simulations or electrical trainers. While different organizations may call them different things, their purpose is the same — to provide hands-on training by replicating real-life equipment used in manufacturing plants.

Once they are installed, they can be used to train workers on how to troubleshoot complex motor control systems, PLCs, I/O systems, and more. They have the components of the original equipment and support the addition of “faults” to simulate different electrical troubleshooting scenarios. But there are are few significant downsides to using hands-on physical workstations that you shouldn’t overlook:

  • They are expensive: The unit cost for a training workstation can be in the several thousands, and you will need to buy more than one, not to forget the cost of space it takes up in the plant and cost to operate and maintain.
  • They are not scalable: Workstations can only be used by one person at a time, making them very inefficient for large scale training programs.
  • Can spread disease: Having multiple people sharing the same workstations can lead to the spread of germs, and more incidences of illness in your manufacturing plant, which could spell disaster for your operation.

Why switching to online learning makes sense

Many of our customers have switched to using Simutech’s online training system to train their workers online. With our online learning solution, you get all the benefits of a physical workstation without the downsides mentioned above.

You also get the ability to gain greater insights about your manufacturing staff that isn’t possible with physical workstations. There are many great benefits to online learning, but here are five of the most significant ones that should convince you to try online learning:

  1. Mobile: With online learning, you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment that will take up your factory floor space. Your employees will be able to go through the learning material at their own pace, whether they are at the office or working from home.
  2. Improved knowledge retention: Online learning is also more effective. A study from The Research Institute of America showed that learning retention rates improved from 8 to 10 percent for face-to-face training to 25 to 60 percent for e-learning.
  3. Clean and safe: There’s no physical component to e-learning. That means you can train your staff without having to worry about spreading germs and illnesses.
  4. Fully Scalable: E-learning can also be used to train all of your staff simultaneously. This allows for greater training efficiency, reduced costs, and significantly shorter downtime.
  5. Accurate insights: Lastly, online learning enables administrators to monitor each learner’s performance to get an accurate picture of their strengths and weaknesses, leading to a more effective workforce.

There’s no doubt that online learning and working from home is now more critical than ever as many countries begin to undertake lockdown procedures to contain COVID-19.

If you’re interested in learning how we can help your manufacturing make the most out of online training simulation, contact us today at [email protected] We’re committed to helping you during this challenging time.

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