Investing in the skills of operatives working on a PET bottling line can bring a fast return on investment (ROI) and offer substantial contributions in a number of areas. In addition to helping improve food safety and hygiene, it can lower total cost of ownership (TCO) of a line, inspire a proactive work culture and, through personalised training programmes, focus on the specific needs identified for a given line.
Commenting on the value of training, specifically with regard to product safety, Frederic Sailly, Executive Vice President for Product Management and Development at Sidel, said - "Food and beverage safety is a fundamental requirement, where compromise is not an option, either for us or for our customers. Lines producing aseptic and sensitive products can be particularly challenging in this respect. In addition to the dedicated courses we have for these beverage categories, we also offer customised food safety training and recommendations for the entire line."
The portfolio of more than 350 Sidel training courses is now listed online and includes blowing, filling (including aseptic and sensitive), Sidel's Combi machines, labelling, conveying, packing, and palletising, as well as competence audits and technical managerial training.
Increasing performance through investing in skills
Reducing TCO is a focus for all beverage producers and training provides the opportunity to contribute to this by minimising downtime, improving health and safety and reducing wastage. Effective training, which enhances employees' operating skills and understanding of the PET bottling line, can improve reaction time and the ability to repair equipment in-house, thereby reducing costly stops in production. It can also lead to improved production levels through faster line and format changeovers, as well as increased equipment efficiency. Improving knowledge of health and safety processes in operatives means less accidents while reducing the potential for poor quality production leads to less wastage, all of which contributes to reducing costs and a faster ROI.
Flexible approach to optimise investment
Flexibility is a central feature of Sidel's training portfolio. Recognising that customers each have unique beverage products, different local production environments and individual requirements, training is tailored to specific needs. Through Sidel's competence audits, a clear picture of employee roles, skills and abilities can be established, allowing targeted investments in training which maximises employee potential.
Training can be offered either on-site at a customer's premises or at one of Sidel's eight global training centres, with an open sharing and learning environment encouraged as Sidel do not have competitors attending a training session in the same room. The training portfolio covers all stages of the PET bottling line's lifecycle to maintain, regain and improve line performance.
Ease of access to training and the capacity to select the appropriate course from such a wide ranging selection is also important. Sidel has addressed this with the introduction of its training portfolio online, with a simple filter option allowing customers to see the content of the courses and select the one that best suits their needs. Luigi Armani, Technical Training Director at Sidel, comments - "It is about maximising the potential of staff and equipment to achieve lower total cost of ownership. The search facility is easy to navigate and designed specifically to match the right course with given training requirements. There are training courses to fit all functions, regardless of skill level, from technical training and line management to product management, safety and environment."
Real value in the workplace
The prime objective of Sidel's training programmes is to enable beverage producers to become experts on their own production lines. Practical training is therefore very much a focus. Courses are based on active teaching methods which include basic skills training supported by multi-media tools and practical activities. The company's instructors all have many years of operational and mechanical field experience as technicians. Sidel also recognises that training is a two-way communication and adapts its courses based on the challenges of its customers.
Sidel trains over 5,000 people each year in multiple languages worldwide, with participants giving the training a 96% satisfaction rating. The courses include information on the latest developments, increasing the knowledge of the production team and encouraging a more motivated, engaged and committed approach to achieving production targets through a more proactive work culture. This results in greater job satisfaction and helps with employee retention.