Posted on 04-Jan-16

Introduction

Yaskawa is the leading global manufacturer of inverter drives, servo drives, machine controllers, medium voltage inverters and industrial robots. Yaskawa America, Inc. provides sales and support for North, Central, and South America and is comprised of a Drives & Motion division and a Robotics division.

Technical Training Services (TTS) is a department within Yaskawa America – Drives & Motion Division, an IACET Accredited Provider, and has been successfully creating eLearning Modules (eLMs) for its automation products and software packages for fifteen years. The type of eLMs that TTS has been creating falls into two basic categories.

1.) Product Introduction – Features and Benefits
2.) Step-by-Step/How-To

A Product Introduction eLearning Module is a fifteen minute video and audio presentation that provides a basic overview of a Yaskawa automation product or software package by explaining its features and benefits. Quiz questions are inserted into specific locations throughout the eLMs to promote repetition of the most important topics and challenge the virtual student. 

 

Yaskawa A1000 Features and Benefits eLM

Yaskawa A1000 Feature and Benefits eLearning Module

A Step-By-Step/How-To eLearning Module provides the virtual student with a very specific lesson on how to perform a technical task using a Yaskawa automation product or software package. An example of this would be “The steps to start up a specific piece of Yaskawa equipment” or “How to setup and use certain functions within the Yaskawa Motion Control programming software.” 

 

Yaskawa iQpump 1000 Setup YouTube Screenshot

Screenshot of the Setup Video for the Yaskawa iQpump 1000 Setup

Technical eLearning Flaw

The traditional shortcoming of highly technical eLearning Modules has been the absence of relevant hands-on learning activities that allow the student to get “stick time” with the real product. In cases where a product is technologically simple, a simulation can be created inside of the eLM to mimic the real product and to make the learning experience as close to the real experience as possible. But the automation products and software packages that Yaskawa manufactures and sells are far too intricate to simulate inside of an eLM.

As a result, you might think that training would require having a Yaskawa automation product and software package onsite to learn from. This would allow for the employee to easily follow along with the eLM lesson on a laptop or mobile device in order to perform the hands-on learning activities. Yet customers having this hardware and software readily available onsite for training purposes is almost never the case. How else can the employee, who could be any one of the seven billion people on Earth, get relevant technical hands-on experience from a Step-By-Step/How-To eLM?

Solution

Yaskawa America, TTS has overcome the lack of relevant hands-on activities in their Step-by-Step/How-To eLMs by introducing a training format entitled “Self-Guided Video Training”. It is a combination of an eLM that guides the lesson, plus the opportunity for the virtual student to connect to a real Yaskawa automation product demonstration unit. The demonstration unit is located at the Yaskawa America Headquarters training facility in Waukegan, IL U.S.A. The virtual student connects to the demonstration unit through the internet using a link provided by TTS. 

 

Yaskawa Remote Demo Connection YouTube Screenshot

Screenshot of the Yaskawa Remote Demo Connection eLM

Conclusion

It is now possible for the virtual student to connect to a real Yaskawa automation product and software demonstration unit from their office, any time of the day or night to work on a Step-by-Step/How-To eLearning module. Most importantly, the lesson will provide the virtual student with the same hands-on learning activities as if they were sitting in a classroom at Yaskawa HQ with the demonstration unit sitting in front of them.

Yaskawa America has always been a large supporter of the “People Learn by Doing” ideology and their Self-Guided Video Training format allows virtual students the opportunity to receive realistic hands-on learning activities from anywhere on Earth.

Submitted title: "Yaskawa America Overcomes A Traditional Shortcoming of eLearning Modules"

John Autero is Manager, Technical Training Services for Yaskawa America, Inc. (www.yaskawa.com) – a leading robotics company in the Americas. The Drives & Motion Division provides Industrial Control and Automation products to markets in the Americas. John has been involved with industrial automation for more than thirty years. This includes six years as a Yaskawa drives application engineer and twenty years as the manager of Yaskawa Technical Training Services. Some of his accomplishments include developing the Yaskawa Engineering Summer Intern and Co-Op Program, incorporating eLearning into Yaskawa’s product training offerings and developing Technical Training Services into an IACET Accredited Provider to offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs). He may be reached at training[at]yaskawa.comThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">.


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