De nombreuses entreprises s’interrogent sur l’utilisation des simulateurs sur site. Des utilisateurs de simulateurs ont apporté des solutions que vous trouverez dans : Questions fréquemment posées (FAQ).
Many companies want information on how the simulators are used on site for training. Current simulator users have provided a lot or solutions to these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). These are summarized below.
Each company is different, and you may need to adapt the general guidelines for your own situation. We would like to hear about your experiences and your solutions.
These cover the Sinapse Print Simulators for the printing industry
Each company’s needs are determined by their company’s internal requirements linked to their competitive environment. Simulator-based training programmes are extremely flexible to help address a variety and combination of needs such as :
1. Prior to delivery of a new press :
New installations are by their nature highly disruptive, their success to meet time and productivity targets are highly dependent on crew competence :
2. New technology or process change :
This may coincide with the delivery of a new press or with hiring new staff. Changes may include moving from analogue to digital press control ; from 2 to 4 colour ; from 4/2 newspaper colour to 4/4 ; process change from letterpress to offset or flexo ; sheetfed to web. Commonly this transition can be long and accompanied by higher waste, production costs and variable quality. The simulator allows individual competence assessment followed by a skill enhancement programme to substantially reduce the duration and depth of problems from technology changeover.
3. Improving productivity and quality :
Best practice procedures are the essential foundation for productivity and quality. Simulators develop problem solving skills for more rapid identification and reaction to problems ; they dramatically increases the use and effectiveness of QC tools (densitometers etc.) ; and to match proofs. The result is more consistent quality at lower waste.
4. Availability and motivation of staff :
Many company are faced with the difficulty of attracting, retaining and motivating staff. The use of simulators has seen big improvements of staff perception of their employees who are seen to be investing in them. The availability of an independent and objective method of competence assessment for salary increases and promotions is also perceived very favourably.
Another frequent application is training new entrants to the industry and converting printers from one process to another (sheetfed to web offset or flexo) with a much faster learning curve.
5. Knowledge transfer : Many companies are facing the retirement of "baby boom" generation staff combined with the reduction of industry training levels. Simulators are a proven medium to collect, manage and transfer knowledge at single or multiple site operations.
6. Cross training :
Process knowledge for non printers in production (pre press and other production staff), and for non printers in support roles (sales, customer support, management) to better understand the printing process and how to avoid problems (e.g.moiré patterns). Provide a common company wide printing language and bridge barriers between departments to improve company-wide team working.
7. Customers :
A number of simulator users run customer programmes. This has been a successful method to improve the company image by demonstrating its commitment to excellence ; increasing their customers appreciation of the print process and constraints ; to forge stronger personal-professional bonds.
We suggest that each company should evaluate its objectives and priorities for each target training group using a simple matrix (see example below) as the starting point for its planning. This provides a clear and rapid basis for discussion and decision within your organisation.
This approach also helps communicate to staff why the company is investing in the programme for everyone’s benefit.
When implementing these, it can be useful to create a second level matrix for each target group to detail its individual objectives, plan time and responsibilities.
The team is often composed of supervisor(s), senior pressmen (mentors) and trainer/facilitators. The manager responsible for training should select a facilitator for implementing simulator training.
No. Once people have passed the introductory level they can progress to the intermediate and advanced levels unaccompanied. However, a key to training success is regular review sessions to identify any problems, monitor progress and maintain motivation.
Every simulator package includes installing and testing the simulator and a train-the-trainer workshop. This allows your training team to acquire
Experience shows that training efficiency is strongly related to when it occurs : On shift : Works well for web offset printers with large crews who can free-up staff for short periods. Before shift : Generally works well as people are fresh to concentrate on training. End of a shift : Never, people are too tired to absorb training. Days off : Efficient as people are fresh to concentrate on training ; difficulties are if staff are working long hours or live a long way from the plant.
There are no fixed rules. Generally the answer depends upon who is being trained and for what objective, e.g.
The most experienced person in the group is the coach who helps translates what’s happening and what is being seen. This also teaches people how to communicate better, to transfer skills and build a communication habit between group members.
Generally two :
Introduction : Make sure people succeed from the beginning. Start with short 20-30 minutes sessions.
To start with give them simple problems to solve, e.g. "too much magenta", "ink stroke too high", "cyan out of register", "magenta high", "yellow and black out of register.
Introduce quality control tools progressively : Densitometer, gloss meter, etc.
It generally takes 3 to 5 sessions for people to become comfortable with moving around the virtual press room.
Intermediate level : Sessions become longer, between 40 to 75 minutes. Comparatively simple sets of multiple problems of the same type, e.g. Printing : Colour and register ; Mechanical : Blanket packing ; Materials handling : Tension and folder (web) or feeder/delivery (sheetfed) ; Chemistry issues. Trouble shooting using QC (quality control tools e.g. densitometer). The tools help to solve problems more quickly at lower cost (most users report a sharp increase in use of QC tools after simulator training).
All exercises should be reviewed by the trainer to ensure certain skills attained, e.g. the trainee should be able to differentiate between density and pressure problems.
Simulated press runs with multiple problems.
Older, highly experienced staff may have initial problems with simulators :
Bring some constructive fun into the workplace. Organise competitions between participants (in the same level) when they become more familiar and comfortable with the simulator, e.g. between different press crews who have to solve similar sets of production problems ; the crew with the lowest production cost is the winner.
One example is Westvaco who organised a competitions for 40 teams, each consisting of 1 experienced printer and 2 less experienced ; the competition was organised in two rounds and the members of winning teams each won a 27" (70 cm) colour TV. The result was a high level of participation, motivation for more training and all press crews focused on the relationships of cost and quality.
A simulator is a component of a complete training program for each competence level. Typically it is associated with a curriculum (company-based or from an education institution such as GATF, an association like FTA, GAA or others), which combines three aspects :
Certain companies and institutions have defined certain sets of knowledge and skills into a progressive series of skill blocks. On completion of each block, the supervisor certifies that the trainee has :
This varies between plants and processes, who you are training and your objectives.
Evaluations are made by printing out the trace files which records all the "results" and the "method" used in every simulator exercise :
The training team define a set of print related problems which represent an adequate benchmark evaluation of operator ability (to recognise, analyse and correct print problems, e.g. World Color used four different problems each with up to 10 different variables). Press supervisors (and / or head printers) are then given the problems to solve on the simulator and their performance is used to establish the 100% benchmark. After other staff have been introduced to the simulator and feel comfortable with it, they are then given the benchmark test. To be certified they must score at least 70%.
Obviously this varies from country to country, company to company, legislation and company-employee agreements.
Some approaches include :
Yes. The method depends on the simulator. Consult Sinapse or your Distributor for more information.
All simulator users automatically become club members. The club’s main objectives include :
Yes. Please see "users quotes" from a broad range of applications. We can also share with you a number of case studies.
We would like to hear from you ; send any questions, comments or suggestions to : Sinapse Print Simulators