Turning Maintenance Pros into Troubleshooting Superheroes at PACK EXPO 2019

Turning Maintenance Pros into Troubleshooting Superheroes at PACK EXPO 2019

As over 30,000 exhibitors and attendees headed home from PACK EXPO 2019 last week, Simutech Multimedia closed the books on our second successful PMMI show. Sporting our new booth and new tagline, “Turning Maintenance Pros into Troubleshooting Superheroes,” we were able to have lots of great conversations with new friends as well as our faithful partners in bridging the manufacturing skills gap.

If you missed us at the show, we gave away some great goodies, including a stress-reliever screwdriver (those were a bigger hit than we predicted!) and bright orange t-shirts. But more importantly, we were able to talk to many maintenance and operations folks who are struggling with training new techs.

We hear it over and over again—the skills gap is real. Many plants are facing huge percentages of Baby Boomers retiring in the next few years. And the new hires just don’t have the background necessary to hit the ground running, especially in the area of electrical troubleshooting.

At PACK EXPO, we were able to demonstrate just how we’re turning out troubleshooting superheroes through our modules. We walked a number of people through our Simutech Training System and showed off our new 3D simulation program Troubleshooting Industrial Sensors on a big screen TV. By the way, we gave away that TV to one lucky person who stopped by our booth; it always is a good idea to come say hi to us at shows!

In all seriousness, we loved the opportunity to get out where our customers are and discuss with them the very real challenges they are facing. As always, feel free to reach out to us and let’s talk about how we can help you bridge the skills gap!

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Quick Preview: Developing the Next Generation of Manufacturing Training

Quick Preview: Developing the Next Generation of Manufacturing Training

In just a few days, Canada’s biggest platform for the manufacturing industry is set to take place. The Canadian Manufacturing Technology show is scheduled to start on September 30, showcasing the latest advancements in automotive, aerospace, machinery, metalwork, and of course, manufacturing training. In anticipation of the event, we wanted to share a sample of what to expect from our session on October 2: Digitally Developing the Next Generation of Manufacturers with Gamification and 3D Simulation.

The economy is in great shape and is on track to add 700,000 jobs by 2025. At the same time, technology is experiencing another seismic shift, with the introduction of IoT and smart devices. On the other hand, baby boomers (the population born between 1946 and 1964) are retiring. This is problematic, as baby boomers also make up the largest population in the manufacturing industry. When they retire, fewer boomers will be able to pass on the skills they learned to the newly graduating Gen Z (born between 1995 and 2014). The result: a double-generation skills gap.

Furthermore, an estimated 2 million manufacturing jobs will be left vacant by 2025, hindering the increasing demand of manufacturers. For every three months a position goes unfilled, a company can lose an average of $14,000. If manufacturers want to take advantage of the upcoming boom, they must tap into the potential of Gen Z. The individuals that fall under this new generation grew up using computers and mobile devices; they never knew a world without the Internet.

Instead of hiring a Gen Zer, hoping they will meet your criteria, training candidates may be the more realistic and beneficial route. Not only does it develop more autonomous and confident employees, but it also improves career growth and technical skills. The question then becomes- what is the most effective way to train the incoming generation?

Enter simulation training. Simulations have been used to train pilots, military, nurses, and more recently, maintenance workers. They have numerous benefits, from providing a safe learning environment to creating a more immersive and engaging experience. Instead of sending your employees to the factory floor for manufacturing training, which would be a waste of other workers’ time and potentially cause a hazard, simulations can be used to create a safer, more time-efficient learning environment. By giving workers merits, such as online badges or certifications for completing specific manufacturing training, manufacturers can also create a sense of achievement, and open doors for a more compelling education.

We are only scratching the surface with this topic. If you’re curious to learn more, we highly recommend you register for the conference, Digitally Developing the Next Generation of Manufacturers with Gamification and 3D Simulation, hosted by Samer Forzley, Simutech Multimedia CEO. You won’t want to miss it.

Flexible automation solutions at PACK EXPO 2019

Flexible automation solutions at PACK EXPO 2019

Finding flexible automation solutions to meet mass customization needs at PACK EXPO 2019

As we get ready to kick off the trade show season with our first event, PACK EXPO Las Vegas, happening Sept. 23-25, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, we wanted to give you a preview of what to expect this year at the show and talk about a new trend that is happening in the industry: flexible automation.

Simutech Multimedia is proud to be exhibiting at the show dedicated to advancing the packaging industry and is the most comprehensive packaging event in North America in 2019. The PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, surveyed a number of food, beverage and packaging member companies to put together its Vision 2025 report.

The report finds that the new challenge of the day is to meet consumers’ expectations for tailor-made, personalization products. This “mass customization” refers to the ability to produce a high variety of custom products, but done so with the low unit costs more common with mass production.

Customers have been demanding more diverse and particular food and beverage products to meet different diets, lifestyles and preferences. Manufacturers have been responding by increasing the amount of SKUs they produce, using cleaner ingredients and delivering them in more sustainable packaging. Doing this requires a great deal of innovation across the board, from R&D to operations to logistics.

At PACK EXPO, expect to see more processing and packaging equipment designed with “flexible automation” to meet CPG manufacturers’ mass customization needs. Automation has been tapped for decades to produce products at low costs. However, what automation hasn’t been particularly good at is producing a wide variety of products. A common complaint with investing in automation is that it fixes a manufacturer into producing a lot of one thing.

With flexible automation, equipment and production lines are focused on smoothing out changeover bottlenecks and increasing uptime even when producing a great variety of products with different ingredients and package sizes. Processors producing a wide-variety of products, but less of them must perform shorter runs on productions lines putting pressure on rapid changeovers on high-speed, high-efficient lines. New machinery is being designed with these new uses in mind, such as “superblock” lines that are collapsible, expandable and interchangeable.

With the skills gap and labor pressures on CPG manufacturers, robotics is another area of particular interest. The new breed of collaborative robots, or cobots, is being seen as having great promise to food and beverage processors trying to solve production operations challenges. Cobots are also more flexible and can work alongside people, rather than the more traditional industrial robots that were high-speed, capable of doing only one or two jobs and requiring cages or other barriers to keep people separated from them.

That’s our PACK EXPO 2019 preview. We hope it’s inspired you to make plans to visit us at PACK EXPO in Vegas at booth 8171 (in the upper south hall).

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Simutech Multimedia at food processing, packaging trade shows this fall

Simutech Multimedia at food processing, packaging trade shows this fall

Simutech Multimedia at Pack Expo, Process Expo and more!

As trade show season kicks into high gear this fall, Simutech Multimedia will be at a number of exciting events for the packaging, food processing and manufacturing industries! First off, we have PACK EXPO 2019 in Las Vegas on September 23-25. We’ll be in booth 8171 in the Upper South Hall and focusing on the theme of Gamification in Manufacturing. To do this, we’ll be giving out awesome swag, but you have to play a game first! Hint: Make sure you brush up on your electrical knowledge before playing our game!

And if you’re on the fence about attending PACK EXPO this year, let us sweeten the deal by offering you FREE registration. As our valued customer, just send us an email at [email protected] with “Free PACK EXPO registration” in the title and we’ll send you our code!

If a trip to Vegas is not on the table for this year, perhaps attending a trade show a little north of the border might be a better fit? If so, be sure to see our CEO Samer Forzley giving a talk on the uses of gamification and 3D simulation to train the next-gen manufacturing workforce at Canada’s largest manufacturing trade show, the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show, happening in Toronto on September 30-October 3.

If none of those events fit into your schedule, we have one more visit this fall at Process Expo in Chicago on October 8-11. Samer will be speaking on the 10th, but Simutech Multimedia will also be exhibiting there. We’d love to meet and talk with you at any of these events!  

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Product Update July 2019: a message from Warren Rhude

Product Update July 2019: a message from Warren Rhude

There are some big things planned for the Troubleshooting Industrial Sensors 3D training system! Simutech Multimedia Founder and Chief Product Officer, Warren Rhude, took some time to discuss the recent updates and how they enhance user experience. He also provided some insight into the future plans for the software. 

Some of the updates include improved navigation in the greenhouse and updated environmental controls. With new sounds, there is a more realistic feel to the environment. As well, all components, including wires, can now be replaced. Get a taste of the software with a free demo!

About Simutech Multimedia
Since 1995, Simutech Multimedia has helped over 500 global manufacturing companies and 200 schools onboard electrical maintenance staff, in a safe, software-based environment. Using a proven systematic method, their simulation software has helped these companies hire and train maintenance staff faster—leading to increased safety, lower rates of injury and reduced downtime on the factory floor.

For media inquiries, contact:
Debra Schug
Marketing Communications Manager, Simutech Multimedia
Phone: 312.818.8876
Email: [email protected]

For sales inquiries, contact:
Simutech Multimedia at [email protected]

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Simutech Multimedia at food processing, packaging trade shows this fall

The Growth of Serious Games

Serious games might be a new concept to some, but Sue Bohle saw its potential more than a decade ago. She is executive director of the Serious Games Association and produces the Serious Play Conference, which gathers both those who create serious games and simulations and those who implement them.  One of the speakers tapped to speak at both the events this year is Simutech Multimedia CEO Samer Forzley.

The tremendous growth and potential of serious games in education and training programs is rapidly climbing. According to the industry analyst firm Metaari, revenue from programs based on hands on, experiential learning known as serious games hit $3.5 billion in 2018 and is predicted to grow to more than $17 billion by 2023.

The potential of using video game technology and gamification methods is just beginning in workforce development for the manufacturing industry. However, as Randstad noted in its whitepaper on how technology impacts the workplace, Simutech Multimedia is leading the way in the industry.

To hear more about the future of serious games being used in manufacturing and the impact it will have, be sure to attend Samer Forzley’s presentation at the Serious Play Conference either this week in Montreal or later this month in Florida!

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