The ABCs of Tebis America Software Training

CAD/CAM software is a powerful productivity booster... especially when you know how to use it.

Many of life’s big questions are hard. Fortunately, some are easy. Like this one, for example: How do I ensure that I’m getting the most value and profitability from my CAD/CAM software? The answer is simple: Tebis training.

Training is the invisible part of productivity. You won’t see it on the plant floor, but you’ll notice the lack of it. It’s a key element in parts production—and profitability, especially when it comes to software, particularly CAD/CAM software. Machining is a very expensive activity, involving expensive machines, expensive parts, and expensive man hours. This can lead to expensive mistakes. If a user does not know all the parameters of the software, or does not utilize the software properly, such as skipping a collision check on the virtual machine, crashes can occur. This can result in broken tools, a broken machine, and scrapped parts. And if the machine is down for repair, it makes no profit.
Most users will nod their heads in agreement with the above statements, but questions still remain. For instance: “Should all my users be trained? Couldn’t we just train our main guy and he will train all the others?”
Some companies try to handle training this way, and sometimes it works. But this strategy is often sabotaged by information loss. That’s because when a person learns they do not retain everything they are taught. Then, when they pass that information along to the next person in line, that person also retains only a part of what he is taught. By the time that information filters down to the 4th or 5th person in the chain, valuable data can be twisted and fragmented.

Tebis America provides individual attention to detail during a session

  • Manager’s role

    But what about the managers, should they be trained even if they do not perform CAD/CAM? In Tebis’ experience, if managers are overseeing the programming area, then they should know the capabilities of the software being used so they are aware of what can be accomplished.
    Similarly, if a manager sends people for training, how can he be assured that his users actually did learn? The answer to this is simple: certification. Many Tebis training classes have a certification process at the end and the managers are notified of the results. If the trainees are struggling, the manager is notified that they may need additional training or help when returning to work.

  • Tebis: Keeping it fresh

    But what if a person on your team is already an accomplished user of the software, surely he doesn’t need training. Wrong. Tebis is always striving to improve its software, and if a company is on a software maintenance program they receive periodic updates with those improvements. In addition, Tebis offers update training so users can quickly master all the new functions and changes in that software. This is also an opportunity to address specific questions that the users may have. Update training makes sense both from a people and a productivity standpoint. It sends a positive message to your people. Keeping your experienced users up to date on the latest software changes shows you are investing in them so they can be at the top of their game. Plus, the more functionality that they know, the greater the gains they can make in productivity. And not all of the gains in functionality are made in class. “Initial training doesn’t stop with what the trainee learns during the class,” notes. Jim Hudson of Louca Mold, “As the trainee learns the class curriculum, they also see that there is a consistent methodology to the way the majority of the Tebis commands work, and they are able to ‘self-teach’ as they explore new commands and options.” An arrangement Hudson views as “very cost-effective.”
    That’s not the only “unlooked-for” benefit of Tebis training. “Often overlooked is the little things you pick up sitting in class with other users and a knowledgeable trainer. It helps us come back to work and share with our co-workers,” observes Todd Rzeszut of Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering. Galaxy Tool’s Mike Kelly observes, “As a shop being completely new to Tebis, we needed our programmers up to speed as quickly as possible and through the Tebis training we were able to accomplish that. It has also allowed machine operators to see what the program is going to do prior to running and has a full machine check before the program is run.”
    Some customers tell Tebis that they think they would benefit most from custom training and ask if this is always available. The answer is that it is possible to set up such a training class but it is not always needed. Tebis typically gathers information on the trainees before they arrive; also we like to interview each one before class starts, not only to get acquainted but also to know what they do and how they will need to use the software. The trainer thus has many examples that can be used, so he can adapt the class to the trainee’s professional needs.
    But if you feel that a custom training class really is your best option, what should you expect? First, the Tebis trainer will meet with the department manager to create a plan that works for your organization and allows you to meet your goals, and gather necessary data files that may be used in the class. The trainer could work with you to identify the specific tasks that the trainees need to be proficient at, and also design tests for each class. The training can be performed at the user’s facility or at Tebis. As these comments make clear, the trainer is a major factor in the success of any training. Here too, Tebis has got it covered, as evidence by Mike Kelly’s comments on the chief Tebis trainer, Paul Nadrowski: “Paul approaches training with a tremendous amount of both patience and knowledge and he creates a highly professional, yet relaxed environment. Paul ensures all trainees completely comprehend each topic before moving on to the next and does so in a manner that encourages everyone to voice their questions.”

    A typical Tebis America training session classroom setting.

  • Where?

    Many managers and small shop owners who believe in the value of training still have questions. For example: “We have only two programmers and I cannot be without them while they are off site for training. 
    So, what options are there for training?” The answer is: several. For instance, a trainer can come to your workplace and set up the training. Normally this can be tailored to a company’s specific industry needs. Users should bear in mind, though, that there are challenges when training on site, the primary one being the environment. The factory is a noisy, hectic environment, not ideal for training classes. Another challenge is the fact that distractions, such as issues occurring on the plant floor, can pull programmers or technicians out of class to take care of the problems.
    Another option when travel is not possible is technology, specifically training via tools like WebEx or TeamViewer. Using these, you will get an invitation or alert by email to call in to the trainer. You are then placed on speaker phone. The trainer shares his screen with you as he performs demonstrations. You can then ask questions. Of course, it is not the same as classroom training, but for some this works. For example, when training a company in a foreign country the travel and living costs would be high. In cases like these, Tebis might schedule WebEx sessions with them for a one-hour session two or three times a week until the necessary demonstrations are finished. 
    Another frequent question is, are there any grants available that can help reduce the costs of training? Yes...some. For Canadian companies, or companies with facilities in Canada, the Canadian government has money available for training workers. Many Tebis’ Windsor, Ontario customers, for example, take advantage of this. And there are opportunities in the US as well. One of Tebis’ US customers used grants through Macomb Community College to get money for training their workers. Other opportunities exist as well.

    Classes can range in size from many to a select few. Can also be held on-site at a customer’s location.

  • Tebis consulting – a competitive edge

    Another frequent question goes like this: “We have software, but it seems our competitors are doing better than we are and they have the same software. What can we do?” In addition to the training options mentioned above, users should be aware that Tebis offers consulting services. 
    This means that Tebis subject experts will come to the user’s facility and assess how the software is being utilized. 
    They could also suggest improvements in programming methods and training. 
    A consultant can help the user get better organized with the software. He would make an overall plan with you to streamline and optimize the manufacturing process, a plan in which each step of the CAD/CAM process is analyzed and adjusted to remove inefficiencies. And the typical result from this process? Greater production and profitability.
    But perhaps the most convincing arguments in favor of Tebis training come from the trainees themselves. “Tebis training has been very beneficial and definitely something we need for the future,” feels Rzeszut of Hi-Tech Mold 
    & Engineering. 
    Galaxy’s Mike Kelly adds, “The training courses, combined with outstanding support, have taken our programmers from zero Tebis knowledge to being capable of programming intricate five axis parts. As an aerospace and mold shop, our programmers need a broad set of skills to complete their jobs and the Tebis classes have given them the knowledge required. We will certainly be sending additional programmers as we continue to add more seats.”



Tebis training has been very beneficial and definitely something we need for the future



The invisible part of productivity


  • Master the new functions
  • Custom training could be the best option
  • Tailored to a user’s specific industry needs


Louca Mold / Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering / Galaxy Tool


Auburn Hills, MI / Rochester Hills, MI / Winfield, WI, United States



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