A resource for finding and scaling your training from the leaders in simulation training.

Firstly, thanks for being a valued reader of our content and Troubleshooting Thursdays.  Since we started with Troubleshooting Thursdays in early 2018, we’ve covered a wide range of topics from basic troubleshooting and how-to’s, to hiring and ensuring you find a training system that best suits your needs. As we wrap things up for 2018 and plan our next year, we wanted to bring you our Troubleshooting Thursdays roundup of the last twelve months.

Here’s our round-up of our past 40 posts!

Weekly Troubleshooting Tips (Tip 1)

The one that started it all! Our very first instalment of “Troubleshooting Thursdays” providing troubleshooting tips to the industry. Read more

Weekly Basic Troubleshooting Steps (Tip 2)

It can be very difficult to locate the problem area or where an electrical fault has occurred. Using your senses, observation should be the first screening process to find where the problem lies. After some general observation, apply logic and reasoning to determine the specific problem area of the malfunctioning equipment. Read more

Troubleshooting 101 (Tip 3)

Once you have defined the problem area(s), it is necessary to identify all the possible causes of the malfunction. The process of determining all the possible malfunction causes typically involves analyzing every component of the problem area(s). Read more

Steps to Troubleshooting (Tip 4)

Once the list of possible causes has been made, the next step in troubleshooting is to prioritize the prime suspects that could cause the malfunction at hand. Prioritizing the items by the probability of them malfunctioning will help you further hone in on the fault. To simplify this process, there are some logical guidelines to aid you in finding the most probable cause. Read more

General Troubleshooting Techniques (Tip 5)

After finding the most probable causes, it is time to test each suspected faulty component and rule out the good eggs from the bad eggs. Testing is the stage of identifying the most probable causes and determining precisely which culprits /components are faulty within the circuit.  Read more

General troubleshooting process (Tip 6)

Once you have determined the cause that is preventing a circuit from operating correctly, you can then go ahead and replace the defective component. But before you do, it is crucial that you ensure the circuit is locked out and verified as dead before disconnecting the part or any wires. Read more

Troubleshooting Process Steps (Tip 7) 

After replacing the defective part in a circuit, and determining that everything is operating correctly, there is value in trying to figure out why the malfunction occurred, to assess the likelihood of it happening again. Read more

Identifying Malfunctions Through a Multimeter and Other Tools (Tip 8)

There are many types of test instruments used for troubleshooting. Some are specialized instruments, designed to measure various behaviours of specific equipment. There are other types of instruments, such as multimeters, that are more general in nature and can be used on most electrical equipment. A typical multimeter can measure AC and DC voltages, resistance and current. Read more

Electrical Faults (Tip 9)

Equipment can fail for two basic reasons: (1) the equipment may not get the proper electrical signal it needs in order to operate, or (2) it fails to work even though it gets the proper electrical signal. Additionally, there are many types of mechanical faults that could cause the equipment to fail or operate improperly. A mechanism could be out of adjustment or jammed, bearings could be seized, linkages could be broken, etc. In many cases, an inspection of the equipment will reveal the cause of the failure. Read more

Testing for open and short circuits (Tip 10)

Our “how to” post on testing for open and short circuits safely, using a multimeter. Including, how you can test for a fault, and determine whether you should test the circuit while it is live, or dead. Read more

How to test for an open circuit using a voltmeter (Tip 11)

A voltmeter allows you to test for the difference in voltage between two points. It is important to understand what the voltmeter reading tells you about the components and the circuit. Read more

How to find opens using an ohmmeter (Tip 12)

An ohmmeter measures resistance in a circuit and is the best tool for finding short circuits, but can also be used to find opens in circuits. In this instalment, we looked at best practices for using an ohmmeter to find open circuits. Read more

What Are Short Circuits? (Tip 13)

Essentially, a short circuit occurs when a portion of a circuit accidentally becomes connected to another portion of the circuit, causing improper operation of the circuit. Read more

Locating Shorts – Part 1 (Tip 14)

The most probable cause of the short is the fuse. To check it, use the voltmeter and test the load side and source side of the fuse. The readings (zero on the load side and 115 on the source side) indicate that the fuse is blown. Read more

Locating Short Circuits – Part 2 (Tip 15)

The second method for locating Short Circuits and how to find a Short with the help on an ohmmeter. Including a helpful video. Read more

Best Practices for Testing Circuits (Tip 16)

Best practices and key points to remember when testing circuits for faults. Read more

The Ultimate Systematic Troubleshooting Approach Recap (Tip 17)

Troubleshooting Thursdays’ recap of Tips 1 to 16—everything we’ve been learning for the first four months, all in one tidy package. (Call it “Troubleshooting Tips 101.”) Read more

Locating, hiring and retaining expert troubleshooters (Tip 18)

We have some critical tips from the leaders in training, for hiring maintenance staff with the traits that make for effective troubleshooting. Read more

Troubleshooting your hiring process: part 2 (Tip 19)

In part 2, we focus on using Simutech Multimedia’s custom / assessment test feature to find candidates with the most aptitude for the job. Read more

Troubleshooting your human resources process: part 3 (Tip 20)

The talent shortage has created an environment in which managers have to compete with other companies to retain valuable employees. One way to do this is to provide the kind of workplace where people want to stay. Read more

Calculating your training ROI (Tip 21)

When you’ve got the right staff in place, and you’ve decided on the benefits of additional training, the next step is to make the case for training to the decision makers in your organization (if that’s you, this is also a good way to determine for yourself whether it makes sense.) Read more

Ensuring that your supervisor is familiar with simulation training [Bonus: sample letter to your supervisor] (Tip 22)

Simutech’s expert approach on how to equip your team with the skills they need to become troubleshooting genuises and keep them that way. Read more

Troubleshooting Your Plant Reliability (Tip 23)

If you think of plant reliability as the maximization of output with current resources by reducing waste in equipment reliability and process (or manufacturing) reliability, you’ll see the potential for improvement right away. Read more

Troubleshooting Your Plant Reliability For Manufacturing Executives, part 2 (Tip 24)

In order to be certified, a company must prove to an ISO auditor that it adheres to seven quality management principles: customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making, and relationship management. Read more

Troubleshooting Your Workplace Safety (Tip 25)

Safety policies that protect workers and ensure the smooth day-to-day operation of the plant are the responsibility of executives to determine, and plant managers to execute. Read more

Troubleshooting Your Technical Training (Tip 26)

When your job is to ultimately ensure your company’s employees are equipped with the skills they need to do their job, and to design the most effective training programs possible within your budget. This of course includes the maintenance professionals who keep the production line equipment in good repair, who have a critical role in keeping the plant running smoothly. In Troubleshooting Your Technical Training we dive into the various methods of training your maintenance staff. Read more

 Top 5 Mistakes Rookie Maintenance Professionals Make (Tip 27)

5 most common mistakes that maintenance professionals who have not had proper training make when they attempt to diagnose and repair electrical faults in production line machinery. Read more

Top 6 Mistakes Plant Managers Make (Tip 28)

Plant Managers, it’s your job to ensure that workers are properly trained and prepared to face the very real hazards of working with electrical equipment. Under OSH law, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Read more

Calculating the ROI of Training: Part 1 [Estimating Gain and Cost of Investment (Tip 29)]

Why do you need to know your training ROI? Well, maybe you’ve been thinking about training for your electrical troubleshooters, but aren’t sure if the payoff will justify the costs. Or, maybe it’s something you do see the need for, but first, you need to show senior management some solid numbers in order to get. The ROI will tell you whether it makes sense to spend money on training. Read more

 Calculating the ROI of Training, Part 2 [Estimating Cost of Investment] (Tip 30)

To estimate the Cost of investment (cost of training), you simply need to add up all of the various components of training that will cost your company money. You can do this for any kind of training, not just the Simutech Training System (STS), but for our purposes. we’ll assume you’re trying to decide whether it makes sense to implement the Simutech Training System. Read more

Calculating the ROI of Training, Part 3 [ROI Calculator] (Tip 31)

We created our very own Training ROI calculator, custom built to help you accurately calculate your training return on investment, in case you are looking to calculate a potential training initiative or calculate ROI on an existing project. Read more

Calculating the ROI of Training, Part 4 [Interpreting your Return on Investment number] (Tip 32)

Basically, in any Return on Investment calculation, a result of 100% means that your Return on Investment is exactly the same as the cost of your investment. A result greater than 100% means that your return on the investment will be greater than the cost of the investment (a net gain). Anything less than 100% means the investment is costing more than it is gaining for you (a net loss). Read More

The Real Costs of Electrical Accidents (Tip 33)

Manufacturing executives who are trying to determine whether electrical safety training for employees is worth the cost may be surprised to learn just how much damage accidents do—to employees, to equipment, and to the bottom line. In fact, the results of just one accident can be catastrophic, to those involved as well as to the business itself. Read more 

Tips for navigating the next revolution (Tip 34)

Now, we realize that for anyone who’s still trying to wrap their arms around Industry 4.0, the idea that we’re already heading at breakneck speed to yet another total transformation of industrial life might be just a little dizzying.

It does seem that these revolutions are coming at ever-shorter intervals. This one’s still in the future, but—like the Boy Scouts—manufacturers need to be prepared.

What to look for in a training solution: Top 11 things you need to consider (Tip 35)

A training solution can be a significant investment, and there are a multitude of potential training partners all claiming to do the same thing. You need to be certain that you’re considering your choice from all angles before making your decision.

Well, we have over 22 years of experience in this field, and we’ve learned a few things along the way! We’d like to share them with you. Read more

What to look for in a training solution, Part 2: Ease of training implementation and access (Tip 36)

No matter who you partner with, implementing a training solution will initially require a certain amount of time on the part of the training program administrator. However, some solutions are less hassle than others. Read more

What to look for in a technical training solution—Part 3: A proven solution (Tip 37)

We hear the phrase “proven track record” so often that it pretty much goes in one ear and out the other. But the reason it is used so much is that it’s important. Not all training programs are created equal! Experience and a history of success matter. Read more

Training evaluation techniques or what to look for in a training solution—Part 4: Completeness (Tip 38)


A complete training solution will progress participants through increasing levels of difficulty, beginning with the basics and building on skills as they are mastered. This may sound sort of obvious, but not all training programs do this well. Read more 

What to look for in a training solution—Part 5: Scaling your training (Tip 39)

If your company is planning to expand down the road—say, open new plants, or put an extra shift on the production line—you must be thinking about scaling your training now. Perhaps you hire seasonally, or your workforce grows and shrinks from year-to-year. The question to ask is, will the potential training solution be easy to set up, run, and administer for a large number as well as a small number? Read more

What to look for in a training solution—Part 5, Degrees of difficulty (Tip 40)

Educational psychology research has shown that if learning is too easy, students become bored. On the other hand, if it is too hard, then they become overwhelmed and frustrated. There is a sweet spot of difficulty for each learner, where they feel challenged but not overwhelmed, and their motivation is maximized. When a learner is engaged with the material, knowledge retention is at its best. Read more

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