Industrial engineers want a continuous flow of training that helps them perform their jobs effectively. According to the 2014 Manufacturing Training Trends Survey released last week by Seminars for Engineers, lack of training is the biggest obstacle to manufacturing quality success.
Twenty-seven percent of the respondents cited lack of training as their biggest challenge. Other obstacles included outmoded equipment (20%), poor quality control (16%), and company morale (14%). Eighty-nine percent of respondents said their company offers opportunities to attend technical or engineering-related seminars and workshops, but 81% said they wished their companies offered more opportunities to attend technical training. The biggest benefit of continual training, according to 34% of respondents, is improved productivity. Other benefits included fewer defects in manufacturing (27%), better morale (20%), and "greater satisfaction with management" (20%).
The survey went to 40,000 industrial engineers in multiple industries, including fastener/bolted joints, thermal management, packaging, plastics and composite materials. Dov Schechter, director of technical seminars at Seminars for Engineers, told us the survey was meant to "define how technical industry professionals are learning about new technologies, discovering new manufacturing processes, and staying up-to-date on industry trends and developments."
Among respondents who said their companies offered seminars and workshops, 54% said they were offered in-person seminars, and 46% were offered online webinars. When asked which format was more valuable, 64% cited said in-person seminars, while 27% said in-person and online seminars were "about the same." Nine percent preferred the online format.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they would or might benefit from on-site technical seminars or workshops conducted by outside subject-matter experts. Only 10% said their organization had the expertise needed to conduct in-house seminars. Engineers with 1-9 years of experience were more likely than others to say they would benefit from technical training.
"As companies continue to increase their training budgets post-recession, we have seen attendance growth across all our seminars" and workshops, Schechter said.